Why I Walk: How Mark S.’s 3-Day Training Supported His Health Journey

“I know that there are probably very few others on the 3-Day who will understand my excitement to finish 60 miles while battling my illness. I know there are many others who are battling other challenges like mine.”

The 3-Day is an amazing accomplishment for anyone who participates. The fundraising, training, and walk weekend itself push many people out of their comfort zone. Mark S. knew he would be one of those people when he decided to join the Philadelphia 3-Day this year. But Mark also knew that getting out of his comfort zone would be a very good thing!

He was diagnosed with MdDS, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, in 2016, and has been experiencing a variety of health issues since then.

That, combined with weight gain over the last few decades due to a variety of reasons, led Mark to need — and want! — to make a change in his physical fitness.

“I read that walking helps reduce MdDS symptoms. I had tried walking for exercise many times to try and lose weight before MdDS, so walking seemed like a good option for me. When I first started walking, my limit was ¾ of a mile in 20 minutes. It took another 20 minutes after the walk for my MdDS symptoms to decrease to their “normal” levels. After all my training, I now walk 3 miles in 45 minutes during my lunch break, and the time it takes for my MdDS symptoms to recover from my walks is substantially shorter.”

While he was working on his fitness, Mark decided to join the 3-Day to really jumpstart his progress.

“Walking 60 miles for breast cancer research seemed like the perfect match for my goals. There is no way I could have undertaken this challenge when I was at my heaviest; I could not even manage to walk an entire mile! I imagine the depression, anxiety, and helplessness I often experience with MdDS are some of the same emotions someone has to conquer as they fight breast cancer. But we can all do this!”

Mark began participating in 3-Day training walks, as well as extending his own personal walks. That, combined with healthier eating habits, helped him lose more than 100 pounds!

All of that work culminated in October, when Mark began his first 3-Day in Philadelphia. We caught up with him after he crossed the finish line with a big smile on his face, and he told us how much those 60 miles had meant to him…

The 3-Day weekend was an amazing experience! It was emotional for me personally at the start and of course at the finish. Here I was, challenged to walk even one mile for exercise in early 2018, yet starting a 60-mile journey in October 2019. I never thought I would be at this point where walking this much would be part of my regular daily schedule.

During the walk, it was incredible to talk to others. I met a man who was married for almost 50 years before his wife lost her battle. There was a young mother who just recently finished her final treatment who was walking with her mother. I passed a woman who just had knee surgery four weeks prior but was giving the journey her best. There was a man in an orthopedic boot determined to participate in all 3-Day events this year. The stores were inspiring and will stick with me forever.

I also can’t forget about the Crew! The kids in Youth Corps who truly get what it means to serve others. The people who take the time to decorate the inside of a port-a-potty (I even had to take a picture of the inside of one!). The Safety Crew who made sure walkers were safe. There were so many people giving of their time to make these three days possible!

My walking journey is not finished!

We love seeing walkers like Mark accomplish new goals and reach new heights on the 3-Day and we’re honored to be a part of their wellness journeys.

Congratulations to the 2019 Philadelphia 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Nancy Moskoff

For the 2019 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2019 Philadelphia 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Nancy Moskoff!

Nancy is a 19-time 3-Dayer with “the ability to make everyone she talks with feel special and important,” according to her friend Terri Vallinote. Terri says that Nancy “just sparkles,” and Coach Carol agrees!

“Nancy is always right where she needs to be and always thinking of others. One year I walked, Nancy showed up at Opening Ceremony with breakfast sandwiches that she had made at home, of which I was one of the lucky recipients!

Nancy doesn’t just participate in the 3-Day, she is also an advocate for the Philadelphia Susan G. Komen Affiliate, as well as other breast cancer organizations including Living Beyond Breast Cancer. As a coach raising awareness for our event, I had the privilege to see Nancy at both the More Than Pink Walk as well as other events I attended. At the More Than Pink Walk she was a shining star on a rainy day and always had a smile on her face. When it was time to leave the event and we were all drenched, another one of our coaches and I spotted Nancy leaving with a box full of flowers. As we said our good-byes out the window of the car, she came right over and shared the flowers with us. Nancy is always shining!”

Now, let’s hear from Nancy herself! When she answered these questions, she didn’t yet know she’d be honored with this award 🙂

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?  

One of my former coworkers drove home past 3-Day camp at Belmont plateau in 2007 when I was on chemo (the first time) and said I need to drive by and see it. I said okay and drove by and pulled over I was mesmerized by the sea of pink tents. I decided then and there that the next year I would be in one … and Nancy’s fight for the girls was born! We were in those tents the very next year!

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

I’m a 2-time survivor … I know that I need to do whatever I can for this cause. I love the pink bubble. It’s where I feel most at home surrounded by likeminded people who all have the same goal and happen to be some of my favorite people on earth!

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

We do whatever we can do to make the most money in the least amount of time! We might be last minute because we are crazy busy, but we get it done!

What is your best advice to anyone participating in the 3-Day?

Enjoy every minute! It’s the best time you will ever have making so much of a difference! These people are like no others and they will do anything for you. I have made so many amazing friends here and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have always been crafty … hence the homemade 3-Day mail with glittered embellishment… sparkles… feathers…. all in my wheelhouse!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought I could ever be! Just keep on keeping on and do what you need to do! There are some amazing people along the journey … find your tribe! These pink people are my tribe 💗

Congratulations to the 2019 Philadelphia 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Riley Weston

Riley (at left)

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Philadelphia Milestone Award Winner; Riley Weston. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Philadelphia 3-Day camp show, we presented Riley with this special honor.

Riley has participated in the 3-Day for nine years and raised more than $180,000 in that time! Coach Carol, who has known Riley as a fellow walker and a coach, says she is “the most talented, humble person you would every have that chance to meet.”

That love is echoed by her friend, Lyndell, who says,

“I met the amazing Riley Weston seven years ago when I joined team Faith Girlz to walk for such a worthy cause. I was feeling down about the passing of my best friend. While my BFF didn’t have breast cancer (brain cancer), cancer had hit my family and started touching people who I cared deeply about.

Over the last few years, Riley and I have formed a friendship that has helped me grow as a person and an advocate in many ways. Her passion for finding a cure is contagious! Her efforts to continually raise a great amount of money shows her commitment to the cause and this organization. I am thrilled that Riley is receiving this year’s Milestone Award! I am proud to be a Faith Girl and honored to be able to call her my sistah and my friend. :)”

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?  

I had lost my grandmother. My aunt (her daughter) was in remission. My sister asked me to do the walk with her in 2010 when her friend backed out at the last minute.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

Since then, I have lost my sister to triple negative breast cancer. One of the promises I made to her was that I would not stop walking, raising money and awareness until this disease was something we spoke about in past tense. My cousin is also now in remission like my aunt!

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

Take no prisoners! Seriously though, I do not have matching funds, so I really just talk to people about breast cancer and what it has done to me and my family. I also ask them if they’ve even heard of triple negative, which most of them have not. I explain the research that Susan G. Komen does and how they reach so many people. Personally, I tell them when I lost my own health insurance, it was Komen who made sure I was still getting mammograms.

What is your best advice to anyone participating in the 3-Day? 

My sister used to say this a lot and I still do for her: SUCK IT UP, CUPCAKE! And HAVE FUN!

What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m a believer in the impossible, I’m obsessed with my chocolate lab, Joe Bob, and never say no to a good apple pie moonshine, honey whiskey or cookie dough. Not necessarily in that order 😉

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day? 

That life is way too short, that these women I’ve met are my friends for life and that we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!