Learn from 3-Dayer Catherine Stoch: Commit to the 3-Day in 2019

“To make a difference for someone else. To dispel the myths. For research. For screening. For treatment. To educate people about what Komen does for women, and men. That’s why I walk.”

Why do you walk? Everyone has a reason. This year, we are asking you to find your reason, and commit to the 3-Day. Commit to walking 60 miles in the fight against breast cancer. Commit to joining 3-Dayers like Catherine Stoch, one of our Twin Cities 3-Day survivor speakers in 2018. Commit. You won’t regret it!

Take it from Catherine. She has been walking for a decade, two of those years as a breast cancer survivor, and she’s not stopping anytime soon. In fact, she’s already signed up to join us again on the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2019!

Tell us about your 2018 journey…

Last year was full of a lot of things, like getting body parts removed to prevent cancer’s spread, lots of recovery, and reconstruction. And during ALL of this, I was completely, 100% supported by an incredible team of friends, family, medical professionals, good insurance coverage and my husband who has been by my side every step. And I know not every woman’s story is like this. That’s why I walk.

The net proceeds raised by the Susan G. Komen 3-Day help Susan G. Komen® build a world free of breast cancer through research, community, care and action. The funds raised have helped Komen‘s mission to save lives from breast cancer, by investing more than $956 million in breakthrough research and more than $2.1 billion to support people and communities most at risk through programs to provide access to screening, treatment assistance, patient navigation and education. How could I NOT walk?

What would you say to someone who is nervous about joining the 3-Day?

I was VERY nervous too, at first. Walking 60 miles and raising $2,300 is a big commitment, but as a friend of mine—who joined me as a first-time walker in 2018 shared, “You pushed me to do more than I thought I could.” I think that is what I have learned over the years of walking this—that you can do more than you think.

What are your top training tips for first-time 3-Dayers?

  1. FOLLOW the training regimen and take it seriously. If you are a runner, you may think, “Yah, I run.” But training your feet for waking, especially a long walk, is different. And another tip: buy your shoes ½ size larger than you usually wear. This was critically important to keeping my feet in much better shape. And…don’t wear NEW shoes on the walk. Your feet will suffer.
  2. Drink more water than you think you should. Over five walks, I’ve seen people be way too casual about it, and run into serious problems. Dehydration is COMPLETELY preventable on the 3-Day.
  3. Walk in all kinds of weather. You never know. I trained in heat, humidity, rain, and because I live in Minnesota, I did train in snow. Then you will be ready for whatever weather comes your way. It’s a long walk, and thorough preparation will get you ready both mentally and physically for the elements.

Komen has a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. Why is this goal so important?

On a larger scale, women’s overall health is important to me, and all my life, women’s health has been under fire, with too much interference, and not for the better. Fewer women dying from breast cancer means more healthier women globally. And there’s still such a cultural stigma about breasts, just saying the word in 2018 still makes too many people squirm. By continuing to call out breast cancer deaths raises awareness that women (and men) still DIE from this. Totally unnecessary.

What are some of your personal goals for the New Year?

Be mindful of my good health and do my best to not just take up air space on the planet, but use my time, energy and talents well. A hero of mine is John Muir, who was exceptionally passionate about the natural world stated, in part: “Most people are on the world, not in it.” I want to remain very IN, and given I have a new job in the health care sector, it’s incredibly exciting for me to utilize my job-related skills as a grant writer to promote healthy living for ALL!

 

What are YOUR goals for the New Year? Have you already committed to walking the 3-Day in 2019? Tell us your story in the comments!

 

 

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!