Continuing our “Word of the Year” series, this month Cate E. shares her experience, on the 3-Day and in life, of PERSEVERANCE. Cate first joined the 3-Day in 2009, but this year brings new resonance and new meaning for her as she faces her own breast cancer battle.
Tell me about your 3-Day experience.
I did my first walk in 2009 in Washington, D.C. and proceeded to walk the next two years in D.C. Then I switched to crew. I crewed in D.C. when the 3-Day was in that city, then switched to Philadelphia and then to New England, doing both the Philly event and New England event in 2019. I’ve served on several crew: gear & tent, grab & go, and sweep, but most often pit stop 3. I’ve been a crew captain multiple times over the years.
What is your 2021 word of the year?
Why is that your word of the year?
I have had the honor of watching women and men on the 3-Day in various stages of survivorship. Whether they are a survivor or the family/friend of a survivor, these individuals are all still affected by the disease. Seeing their perseverance has given me the strength to fight my own battle with breast cancer.
Why do you participate in the 3-Day?
In January of 2009, I saw a commercial for the 3-Day. I sat on my couch and got teary over what I was seeing. I told my husband I wanted to go to a Get Started Meeting to learn about the 3-Day and sign up. At that point in my life, I felt so blessed and knew it was time to give back. I started participating in the 3-Day to honor my Grandmother Marion and my Great Aunt Eileen, who both died of breast cancer. In 2021 I will be participating to celebrate and honor myself as well.
What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
On the 3-Day, I have gotten to know some of the most thoughtful and generous people I have ever met. The friendships and bonds created on event are just as strong as those of blood relation (sometimes stronger). I have a core group of women who I have been on event with since the start. They were the ones I reached out to when I was first diagnosed. Their strength, support, and compassion, accompanied by some hilarity and hijinks, helped me cope with those first few days after hearing the word “cancer.” Their guidance and understanding are far beyond anything outside of our 3-Day bubble. I’m so lucky to have them in my life.
How does your word of the year connect to the 3-Day?
I think everyone on the 3-Day shows perseverance. From the walkers who are faced with blisters, heat, strains, sprains, and training, to the crew members who are setting up, breaking down, dealing with location challenges and supporting the walkers, to the staff who are juggling the demands of the towns, route challenges, the crews and the walkers—everyone on event shows a perseverance to succeed. This is doubly so for those who are also fighting cancer during the event. The perseverance of each and every individual working toward a world without breast cancer is what the 3-Day is all about.
If you could share a message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?
Meeting you, talking to you, hearing about your journey and watching you succeed in your own way has been a blessing to me for the last 12 years. Hearing your words of encouragement, of thanks, of love, compassion and understanding have shown me that there are amazing people out there in the world. The knowledge that with a few keystrokes I could reach out and be surrounded by our big Pink Bubble and knowing that I can feel your love and be lifted by your support has given me courage and strength to fight my own battle. Thank you to each and every one of you who put yourselves out there year after year to find a cure.
We want to know: What does PERSEVERANCE mean to you? Check back next month for the next blog post in our “Word of the Year” series.