Congratulations to the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron

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 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron. Joan is a breast cancer survivor who’s family is amazing at her dedication to everyone she loves, including her 3-Day family! Joan’s sister recalls that “growing up, our dad always noticed that whatever I was doing, Joan did, too. Well, now, I want to be like my little sister and follow her steps for those very same reasons. I love you so very much, Joanie, and I’m so very proud to be your sister!”

Twin Cities 3-Day Coach Stephanie was also so excited to present Joan with the award this past weekend! She told us, “Joan is a rockstar volunteer helping out the local coaches each season as a training walk leader and also volunteers her time to flyer our 3-Day route, alerting residents and businesses that all of you will be walking by. This year though her reason for participating became much more personal as Joan is now walking as a survivor. 4 months ago Joan found herself suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis brought surgery, weeks of radiation and a daily medication regimen which began this week. I’m happy to report that Joan is cancer-free. Like all of you she will continue to walk until a cure has been found. Her dedication to this event and the cause make her truly worthy of this award.”

To learn more about Joan, we asked the lady herself!

What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?

I started walking in the TC 3-Day 5 years ago. My good friend Lori was originally diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 4. Nowhere in her family did anyone have breast cancer, she was the first. Lori was brave and courageous throughout her treatments, which included: many rounds of chemo over the years, radiation, brain surgery, clinical trials, and a battery of tests.

Lori kept her humor right to the end. I can still see her scrunching up her nose when I asked how she liked the Jello she had for breakfast. I can even hear her chuckling at something funny that was said one day, as I sat at her dining room table. Two days later Lori passed away from this horrible disease. I gave my promise to Lori a few years ago, that I would keep walking until a cure is found for breast cancer. My team name is Lori’s Chance. I walk in memory of Lori, for my children, for those battling this disease, for the survivors, and those that have been lost. I don’t want others to get the “call” saying you have breast cancer.

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

I return each year to the walk the 3-Day until a cure is found for breast cancer. This year I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer, and the 3-Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. This is why we walk, this is why we fight, and we can’t stop until this disease has been eliminated. Okay, now the lighthearted side of the 3-Day is seeing your friends each year; they are your “pink” family (and through out the year for many of us Twin Cities locals). Then there are the fun shenanigans on the route.

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

Ask everyone!! Sometimes you have to ask potential donors more than once. Ask for matching gifts which can increase your fundraising account quickly.

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

Enjoy the walk! Remember, it’s a journey, not a race. You will experience many emotions from laughter to tears. Introduce yourself to walkers you don’t know, especially our first time walkers. Take it all in from the beautiful scenery on route, to dancing in the tent. It’s important to train for the 3-Day. Stay hydrated, stretch often and have fun!!!

What’s a fun fact about you?

As I was growing up, I was on the All Star Girls Softball Team for the Northern Tazewell Recreation Association. I played first base on the team, and our team won first place.

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

I keep learning new lessons why it is so important that we walk. We are all here to meet a common goal, a world without breast cancer. A couple of years ago, I was coming into Pit Stop 3 on Indian Mounds Park and there were several survivors greeting walkers as they arrived. By that point on Day 3, no one is really looking their best, but to the survivors we all looked beautiful. A couple of them approached me and said, “Thank you for Walking so I can live.” Without Susan G. Komen, some of them would not be able to afford their treatment. That instantly brought me to tears, but it was an experience I will cherish the rest of my life.

Help each other out on the 3-Day. A kind word or a smile can lift someone’s spirit and brighten their day!

Congratulations to the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Patty Miller

Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Patty Miller! 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 Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Patty with this special honor.

Patty has walked in the Twin Cities 3-Day for ten years, and has raised more than $120,000 total for the 3-Day!

Her son Austin says, “My mom is truly amazing. While most sons, when asked to describe their mother, would state that she is “amazing”, I am not alone in this assessment of my mom. As a young child, I remember people calling our house and telling me, “You’re Patty Miller’s son? She is an angel. Do you know that your mom is an angel?” I do know that. In fact, for my entire life she has been completely dedicated to serving others and to making all around her better.”

He went on to describe her dedication to the 3-Day, and was the consummate proud son.

“My Mom did not start doing the 3-Day until she was nearly 60 years old. I will never forget her first year doing the walk. I believe she was the number two fundraiser and the fifth or six walker to cross the end line. We stayed around the finish for hours cheering in the other walkers and ultimately partaking in the closing ceremony. It was clear to me on that day that Komen would become an important part of my mom’s life.”

And so it has! We heard just how much the 3-Day means to Patty when we spoke directly to her…

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

My dear mom stopped walking when she was only 35 years old. Cancer killed my vibrant, young mother and left motherless, me at age 4, my brother at age 7 and my sister at age 1. We’ve forever had that hole in our hearts of missing her. So I walk for and other her because I can.

What brings you back year after year?

I return year after year to walk because cancer has devastated our world and families as much as poverty or oppression. Komen helps others throughout the world while working on advanced treatments. Komen reminds us to care for our bodies as health means everything. And so I walk.

What is your secret to fundraising success?

I talk about Susan G. Komen and our 60 mile journey as often as I can. I ask on Facebook if anyone wants to contribute as well as add a name on my shirt of a loved one who has fought against cancer or is fighting now. I tell my mom’s story. I offer to speak at community events. And I THANK and THANK! Anyone who helps me with training walks or donates money, I send email thanks and Facebook thanks and snail mail thanks and kudos throughout the year.

Best advice to anyone walking 3-Day?

Make it a celebration! Celebrate YOU for taking this commitment of time and energy! Mostly, celebrate the lives you’re touching by making a positive difference in the fight against cancer.

Tell us a fun fact about you!

I support every kind of event that benefits cancer – it’s my retirement volunteer job.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on 3-Day?

People who are passionate about ending cancer are among the greatest people anywhere.  Every walker, every helper, every person who comes to cheer or work the course, every staff and every person in a car that passes and honks on the 3-Day journey seems to be bonded in a positive caring goal to find a cure and meaningful treatments. Differences disappear to work together on this most urgent goal and purpose. I’m humbled to be a part of Susan G. Komen 3-Day!

Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

It’s here! The Twin Cities 3-Day is tomorrow, and we can’t wait to take this 60-mile journey with all our Minnesota 3-Dayers. As our staff and crew gather today to make final preparations and plans, no one is looking forward to tomorrow more than our Twin Cities 3-Day Coaching Team.

Meet Coaches Stephanie and Tisho, along with our amazing Crew Coordinator Kiki and Event Manager Eileen. They make the 3-Day magic happen year-round, working every day towards this weekend.

Stephanie has an infectious laugh and an upbeat attitude about everything. Tisho is full of knowledge on the widest range of topics, is a great advice-giver and has a heart of gold. Kiki is hilarious and oh so productive, remaining calm no matter what problems come her way. Eileen is the “complete package” of 3-Day information and support, always seeing the good in people around her. What a group!

These compliments and accolades don’t come from thin air, either! These are straight from the mouth of their fellow coaches.

With that kind of support, it should be no surprise that Coach Tisho, who is new to the Twin Cities 3-Day, describes this 3-Day with one simple word: family.

“I’ve been a part of the 3-Day for 10 years now and it is the most amazing group of people. The participants and my colleagues have made this literally a life-changing event for me. That’s why I’m most excited for my first Twin Cities 3-Day and meeting all the participants with whom I’ve been speaking since last year!”

Other things they’re looking forward to? The whole team is very excited for the latest changes to the route this year and can’t wait to hear feedback from participants.

Some of their favorite spots (both new and old) along this year’s route include:

  • All the beautiful lakes on Day 1
  • Stone Arch Bridge on Day 1
  • Downtown White Bear Lake on Day 2 (Hint: this is new and it’s fabulous!)
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • The St. Paul Water Utility Trail in Vadnais Heights
  • Day 3’s view of the downtown St. Paul skyline after you pass through Pit 3 and walk into Indian Mounds Park. This is definitely a photo op, so get your cameras ready!
  • Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island

“I am giddy with excitement for them to see our brand-new Day 2 route which will take them through White Bear Lake and its charming downtown area!” says Coach Steph. “I’m also really excited that on Day 1 we’ll be back walking down Nicollet Mall. The last two years the mall has been under construction and now it looks beautiful. This is the heart of downtown Minneapolis and features a lot of great restaurants and all the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis.”

The whole team is full of Minnesota pride, with Coach Kiki saying the whole weekend will be full of “beautiful scenery and the nicest people on the planet.”

Don’t miss a minute of this fun and beauty! That was the #1 piece of advice from all the coaches. Take your time and enjoy the whole weekend. Make new friends, reconnect with old ones. Try new experiences and be open to the joy of the weekend.

“Be present! Those two simple words were part of the Opening Ceremony a few years back and they really hit me. Don’t just follow the pink parade. Don’t let it all pass you by. Stop and take photos, pay attention to what’s around you and the people next to you. Soak it all in because even when you come back next year it will never be the same event twice,” promises Coach Kiki.

You’ll be surrounded by your 3-Day family, led by your local coaches. They can’t wait to welcome you in!