60 Miles to Forever: Tom and Kasandra’s 3-Day Proposal

On the final day of the Seattle 3-Day last fall, the finish line was abuzz with anticipation. Medical crew members were gathered, a group of friends craned their necks to see that final corner beyond the finish line, and our host Mark was grinning from ear to ear. A proposal was coming!

Tom Riggs had worked with the Seattle 3-Day team to prepare for his proposal to fellow 3-Dayer, Kasandra, at the end of his 60-mile journey, and everyone couldn’t wait to see the culmination of this love story that began with a shared love of the 3-Day!

Tom says being a part of the 3-Day has helped in his relationship with Kas because it has taught him patience, perseverance, and the importance of foot rubs. 😉

“Being the person to bring her food, being a shoulder to lean on and giving lots of encouragement was important to our bond!  I LOVED being the person she could rely upon when her personal heroic acts were finished. Sharing that journey together makes the hard places easier, the great places even more awesome and the accomplishments FANTASTIC!”

After each conquering the 3-Day separately, they are now looking forward to driving a sweep van together in Seattle this year, finally making that 60-mile journey as a married couple. 2019 will also be the year they finalize moving in together, celebrate her son’s and his daughter’s college graduations, and (of course) get married!

The tuxes have been ordered, she said “yes” to a dress, the venue and rings have been selected, and the music is chosen — but there’s still so much to do! But of course, they already know that their accent color will be PINK! Until their wedding, they have super top-secret Valentine’s Day plans this week (sorry Kas, Tom wouldn’t tell us in case you read the blog!), and lots more planning to do for the 3-Day and their big day. It’s going to be a big year!

For the full story of Tom and Kasandra’s love, we let Tom take over. After all, a man in love should tell his own story 😊

When I met Kasandra in the summer of 2017, one of the first things I found out about her was that she was signed up to walk in the 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. That was among the many, many things that endeared her to me! Because I was unable to participate in 2017, I committed to helping her train, raise money and get prepared. Once she was at the starting line, I spent the rest of the weekend supporting her. I knew how much the event takes out of a person physically, emotionally, and mentally, so I wanted to be there for her. I figured I was in a good position to be that friend who would understand.

After committing to the 2018 event in Seattle, Kasandra decided to switch roles with me. She wanted to come to the event to be my supporter and be at as many of the cheering stations as possible. So, when I knew in my soul that I wanted to ask her to marry me, it seemed a natural fit to propose at the 3-Day, as the event has become so important to the two of us.

I sent an e-mail to the 3-Day coaches, asking them for help. Gayla was so sweet (she even sent me a meme!) in responding, pledging support to help me. As I walked on the first day of the event, I told everyone that I was carrying the engagement ring for 60 miles and to look for the proposal at the finish line. I even recruited a friend who is attending the University of Washington to meet us at the finish, so she could use my phone to put the proposal on Facebook Live (I told all our mutual friends on Facebook to be watching!). As news of my proposal got out among the Seattle 3-Day staff (particularly the AMAZING medical crew), everyone got in on the fun to surprise Kasandra!

On the second day of the walk, I pulled my IT band and found that I couldn’t finish the event. It was so frustrating! However, the event staff was so kind in allowing Kasandra and I to take over a sweep van for Sunday. So, as we drove all over Seattle for the day, all I could think about was the proposal. As we parked the van and headed up to the finish line, everyone on the staff was smiling, knowing what was coming. To make everything look official, I even walked (gingerly!) through the finish line. The announcer gave me the microphone and it was time.

Honestly, I had rehearsed what I wanted to say for three days. But when the moment came, I couldn’t think, because all could see was her eyes and all I could think was how much I love her. So, after an initial comment about “going steady,” I dropped to one knee (also gingerly!) and proposed to her in front of the people at the finish line and dozens more on Facebook Live. And she said YES!

We now have planned a June 22nd wedding! Because we’ve recommitted to driving a sweep van for the 2019 3-Day in Seattle, we will have a table at our reception where people can support us our fundraising. We even have a name for our van already – Sweepless in Seattle! – so look for us on the route! And, of course, I’m looking forward to being under the Space Needle again, where I will kiss this amazing woman one year later as my WIFE!

2018 Seattle 3-Day Wrap Up

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Friday dawned with a bit of liquid sunshine to kick off our first West Coast 3-Day of 2018! As the sun rose over the Seattle Space Needle, our walkers and crew raised their arms to honor survivors, those living with metastatic breast cancer, and those who they would carry in their hearts on this 60-mile journey. It was an inspirational and motivational start to Day One of the Seattle 3-Day!

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From there, our walkers braved the elements with smiles on their faces as they took on the first few miles. They crossed through Rogers Playfield after 2.3 miles for Pit 1 and by the time they arrived at lunch at downtown Bellevue Park, the rain had cleared.

Then, the sun came out just in time for lunch, and the walkers rejoiced! Laying in the sun on their Mohawk mats was the perfect way to enjoy lunch. We also met our Seattle Youth Corps in a Facebook Live! From there, they walked through Bellevue and Redmond before arriving back home at camp at Marymoor Park. The fall night finished crisp and clear as our last walker came home to camp.

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Our camp show on Friday night featured memories from some of our walkers, a message from Susan G. Komen’s CEO and awarding our Seattle Milestone and Local Impact Award winners. After that, participants returned to their tents for a much-needed good night sleep.

Day Two started from camp and the walkers went through Grass Lawn Park at Pit One after 3.1 miles. The scenery was beautiful, and our walkers made quick work of the next few miles before arriving at lunch at Juanita Beach Park. There was dancing, relaxing, and lots of fun!

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In the afternoon on Day Two there were lots of cheering stations and community support as walkers went through the Kirkland and Redmond neighborhoods. Walkers loved taking photos with the Seattle “Angel,” the Lil’ Smokies Guys and the Parrotheads of Puget Sound. The Youth Corps was also running around, spreading laughter wherever they went!

Our final walker came into camp, welcomed by a crowd, on Friends & Family night to end Day Two! Walkers relaxed in the Bank of America massage chairs and dug into mac n’ cheese for dinner – two long-time 3-Day favorite traditions. Our Saturday camp was full of emotions, as we heard from a local survivor speaker and our Seattle Youth Corps, who all described why they participate in the 3-Day and how it has changed their lives. We ended on a high note with a camp dance party!

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And then, suddenly, it was already Day Three! Walkers were bused to start their day on the beautiful University of Washington campus before walking through downtown Seattle parks and trails. They arrived at Pit Stop 2, and Gasworks Park, after taking on 7.1 miles already. The sun came out for Pit 2, and walkers were able to get a lot of great photos and memories along the waterfront before continuing their journey.

From there, we continued along the water and into the heart of downtown Seattle, stopping for lunch at Lake Union Park. The Olympic Sculpture Park was another great photo spot at Mile 12.6 on the day, before everyone came home and crossed the finish line at Seattle Center.

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In view of the famous Seattle Space Needle, we had not one but TWO marriage proposals (and enthusiastic “yes”-es!) at our Participant Finish Area. Then, Grandma Ruby led five generations of women in her family across the finish line as our final walker. The 2018 Seattle 3-Day journey was complete!

We then led a triumphant group of walkers, crew, volunteers and supporters into our Closing Ceremony. The local Puget Sound Affiliate helped us thank Seattle for helping us raise $1 million this weekend in the fight against breast cancer. Then, there was only one thing left to do…dance it out! Thank you, Seattle, for an amazing 3 days!

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Congratulations to the 2018 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Tath Hossfeld

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For the 2018 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 2018 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Tath Hossfeld.

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We learned more about why this event, and cause, is so important to her… 

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

I wanted to celebrate my survivorship and see if a woman over 50 could walk 60 – now I know a woman over 70 can walk 60! 

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

As soon as I walked my first 3 day, I realized this event was way more than about me – to watch everyone – survivors and non survivors be empowered is beyond incredible

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

A great fundraising letter. I make it personal every year – because that’s what Breast Cancer is about. It’s about a Mom knowing she’ll never get to see her daughter walk down the aisle, it’s about a husband realizing that he will be the one taking his little girl shopping for her first bra, it’s about my friend Susan realizing that she just wasn’t going to get to see her granddaughter turn one on her own birthday and the stories abound – I try very hard in my letters to realize the human aspect of this disease. It’s the people behind this disease!

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

Realize that at some point ( or many) you will question your sanity for doing this walk. But every time I have thought oh man I am getting to old, I hurt too much to go on I come upon someone else who is really struggling – and I find myself focused on getting them to the next PIT STOP. You will never be walking alone!

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What’s a fun fact about you?

I love to sail and ski – it’s my perfect get away. And at an early age I learned to hula!

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

To encourage others to achieve something they weren’t sure that they could achieve – it’s the ultimate high 5 at the end of the day.

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