Meet Team Independent: A Family Affair on the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day

The 3-Day becomes like a family for many in our community, bringing people from all walks of life together in the fight for a world without breast cancer. Some even bring their own personal family and friends along with them to the 3-Day. When the 3-Day family becomes one with your own, magical and amazing memories are made.

If you need any inspiration to invite your family to join your 3-Day team this year, you can look no further than Melissa L. and Team Independent in Dallas/Fort Worth. Their team of family members and supporters is the perfect example of incorporating your own motivation and family love into your 3-Day journey.

Everyone from her daughter Alex and her husband David to nieces, her sister-in-law, and her nephew have all joined Melissa on Team Independent over the years. In fact, Alex has continued to walk while attending college, graduate school, and having multiple children. Melissa’s nephew Becket was a Youth Corps member who is looking forward to walking his first 3-Day this year. To say the 3-Day has become a family affair for Melissa is quite the understatement!

After years of walking and crewing with her family, Melissa is full of tips, tricks and memories to help you make the most of your own 3-Day experience. Whether you walk with friends, family or solo, she is a well of information. We’ll let her take it from here…

How did you first find your way to the 3-Day family?

I initially heard about the 3-Day back in 2004 on a radio commercial. I was five years from my diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer and my daughter Alex was in high school then.

However, we didn’t fully jump into the Pink Bubble until 2007. Alex was in college and my husband was our “walker stalker.” My husband is an avid cyclist and saw the Route Safety Crew riding their bikes, which got him interested. He jumped onto Route Safety in 2008! He enjoyed being part of the crew and couldn’t understand why I hadn’t joined the 3-Day crew yet, too. So, in 2010, I joined him on Route Safety with the provision that he would walk with us in 2011. I have to say that Route Safety was great fun, but it was so much harder than being a walker for me! So, David walked in 2011 for the first time and he has been a walker ever since!

We always walk in Dallas/Fort Worth. We love supporting our hometown and hosting out-of-town team members!

What are your tips for walking and participating with your own family?

  • Know everyone’s pace and capabilities and use the buddy system with teenagers. Empower everyone to stick to their pace and avoid injury both on training walks and on the event.
  • At the 3-Day, make a schedule to meet for meals or activities, so more experienced walkers can help and encourage the new walkers.
  • Make fun shirts and pink bling! Matchy-matchy is the way to go! Be “family proud.” 😊
  • Train together. Training walks are a great way to unplug and spend time together. It’s amazing how much you can learn about nieces and nephews when you leave electronics at home!

What are some of your best memories from the 3-Day?

Being a long-term part of the 3-Day family, I was asked to speak at the camp show in 2017 and David also spoke at the Opening Ceremony that year. We were both proud to take an active role in sharing our story with our pink family.

Then in 2018, my husband and I walked with our daughter and teenage nieces. Our nephew was on Youth Corps in the same year. It was great to experience the 3-Day through their fresh eyes. We held up on Day 3 so we could all cross the finish line together! We were so proud of those teenagers!

That year was eventful, too! In 2018 we were evacuated from camp because of a severe thunderstorm. Since David and I are avid backpackers, we secured our tent before vacating and after the storms passed, we jumped back in our tent and it was warm and dry. It was seriously so impressive to watch the Susan G. Komen and event staff manage the crew and walkers to keep us safe and then to get us back to sleep before we had to walk on Day 3. Well done everyone!

In general, though, the best memories come from the friends we have made walking thousands of miles on training walks and on event.

What does “commitment” mean to you?

Commitment means standing strong with our pink family of survivors, co-survivors and the loving and dedicated family and friends of those who continue to fight for those we have lost. Commitment means no matter what else life brings our way — death of parents, serious illnesses, welcoming our son-in-law and then welcoming grandsons — we keep putting one foot in front of the other and we keep raising awareness and money to find the CURE!

What are your 2020 3-Day plans?

2020 once again finds David and I walking in Dallas/Fort Worth. Our daughter, Alex, will be a 20-mile walker as she will be giving birth to her second son before the event this year! Our nephew Beckett will be a first-time 3-Day walker this year and our youngest twin nephews are going to apply for Youth Corps! I’ve challenged myself to raise $12,000 this year. It’s a personal bold goal, but I think I can do it! Nothing can stop us!

You can join Melissa and Team Independent in Dallas/Fort Worth in November, or the rest of our 3-Day family at our other 2020 cities by signing up on our website!

3-Day Preparation You Can Do Right NOW

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The 3-Day might seem like a long way away. After all, the New England 3-Day isn’t until August and the San Diego 3-Day isn’t until November! Time does fly though, and we know that all of you are busy busy bees. Your 3-Day weekend will be here before you know it, so let’s make the most of every day! Even now, there is so much you can be doing to prepare for your 60-mile journey. Let’s get started!

Sign up!

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to remind everyone! The sooner you sign up for the 3-Day, the sooner you can put all your other plans into motion. Registering is your first step towards an amazing 60-mile journey that will take you further than any other in the fight against breast cancer. Commit 3 days in 2020. This is the perfect time to sign up because we extended our Early Bird Discount until February 7! Take $20 off your 2020 3-Day registration — no code needed — and join us in the fight against breast cancer. Let’s go!

Reach out to your coaches

After you sign up, your immediate first step should be reaching out to your 3-Day coach. She is the ultimate resource for everything you could ever want to know about the 3-Day. The coaches are available by phone, email or even Facebook, and they will be just who you need to make sure you start your 3-Day journey on the right foot.

Meet them on Facebook to get started:

women walking at the 3-day

Start fundraising

There are so many ways to fundraise for the 3-Day so starting early just gives you time to try them all! Start by using our resources and links to set you up for success, then challenge yourself to complete all 101 of these exciting fundraising ideas!

You can also check our blog posts for more fundraising ideas. These are some of our favorites:

Make your training plan

We have both 24-week and 16-week training plans that will help you pace out your training so that you can start slow and manage your steps. These plans can be printed out or found on our training app. You can also chat with your coach to customize these plans to you specifically!

We will also post local training walks and other events on our website. Get together with your fellow 3-Dayers to start moving and making progress towards your training goals NOW so that you’ll be fully prepared come this summer or fall.

Talk it up

Though you will never be alone on the 3-Day, the more friends and family you can bring along with you…the more fun you’ll have! Invite your pals on a training walk or to an info meeting to bring them into the 3-Day. They might not sign up right away, but don’t worry, you have time! Remember? 😉

Make your plans and take your steps now! The 3-Day will be here soon after all.

3-Day Love Letters: You Inspire Me

 

Thank you for your commitment! You are truly amazing. Together we will continue to make a huge impact.

Celebrate the month of love with us! Share the love and support the cause, send your community a piece of your heart in a 3-Day Love Letter by clicking HERE.

We crossed the finish line together! See some of our favorite finish line memories below.