Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

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The Twin Cities 3-Day is coming up fast, and our coaches can’t wait to welcome all the walkers to their hometown! Some of the Twin Cities coaches and staff have been with the 3-Day for a while, but there are also some new faces. It’s the perfect time to get to know your coaches better!

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A new addition this year is Coach Dana Dalpra, who is joining the Twin Cities 3-Day team after spending the last six years living in Hawaii (lucky lady!).

Coach Stephanie says her “kind heart, her willingness to help everyone and her go get ‘em attitude” all make Dana a great part of the coaching team.

A big heart is common among all three ladies, with Coach Kiki Setterlund saying, “I love the care and compassion my colleagues have for, not only the big picture of ending breast cancer, but for each and every one of our participants. I participate in many different events for non-profits locally. I haven’t received the care and attention like my colleagues provide our participants. Truly.”

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Dana echoes that, and is happy to join in the cause!

“I love my team! I don’t think we’ve had a call where we aren’t laughing. Their sense of humor is everything. […] Stephanie, Kiki and Eileen are so informed and organized that it’s helped me to dive right in with confidence. Additionally, I work very closely with the other 3-Day coaches across the country. Because of all of them, I feel supported which leads to the success of the Twin Cities 3-Day this year. It’s definitely a supportive, welcoming group effort.”

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That is, in part, because of their history with the 3-Day cause. Coach Kiki used to be the Race Director for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Madison, WI, while Dana coached the 3-Day in Tampa Bay, FL for five years before her big move to Hawaii. Even Stephanie’s family has gotten involved, including her daughter who has served on the Twin Cities 3-Day Youth Corps.

In addition to their love for the 3-Day, both Stephanie and Dana have a passion for Italy, and list it on the top of their “must-visit” travel lists. All the coaches also love food! From a lavender glazed lemon donut (Dana) to “anything fried and on a stick” (Minnesota native Kiki), even salad (Stephanie)!

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They also have some interesting past lives!

When she was young, Stephanie was a speed skater in Wisconsin, and trained at the same facility as future speed skating Olympians! Dana used to be a marine biologist, working at a range of zoos and aquariums, and Kiki was a Vocal Performance major in college who still has Eminem on her walking playlist of pump-up jams!

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However, before they can take any time off for an Italian vacation or hold an Eminem dance party, they are working hard to have the Twin Cities 3-Day all ready for their walkers! Stay tuned for more fun memories and exciting plans from the coaches next week on the blog, and be sure to follow along with them on Facebook too!

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Note: Coach Stephanie and Coach Dana won’t be present throughout the entire event at the 3-Day this year due to personal circumstances, but they will both be making an appearance to cheer on all of the Twin Cities walkers.

 

 

Twin Cities 3-Day Route Preview

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The Twin Cities 3-Day is coming up this weekend, and as you get ready for the event, we have a preview of what to expect! For those who are familiar with the route, you will see a lot of our favorite sights of the Twin Cities. If you’re new to the walk this year, you will love seeing all the natural beauty of Minnesota, as well as getting to know Minneapolis and St. Paul better.

Our walk this year begins at Southdale Center in Edina. It has been a local staple since 1956 and is the perfect jumping off point for sixty miles of fun. This was the original Mall of America!

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From there, much of our first day of walking will be the route we have used in years past. We will leave Edina and walk through many parks and trails in the area. Event Production Manager Eileen Barnick promises you will see “many beautiful lakes and trails! If you’re into nature you’re going to love this walk!”

Those views include a trail between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun!

Grab & Go A will be at Father Hennepin Bluffs. You will see the name Louis Hennepin all around the area. He was a famous missionary explorer during the Lewis and Clark era, so a lot of the known history of the Twin Cities we know because of him!

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After lunch at Loring Park, walkers will cross the Stone Arch bridge, which is great for photos! This year there will also be a spot by the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. It was under construction last year, but this year it will be another great spot for photos. We will end Day One at the University of Minnesota campus before bussing to camp.

Our camp will be at Harvest Park, and walkers will have a mile walk on a quiet trail both in and out of camp, so it’s a little secluded.

“It’s really quiet, with no car traffic, so it’s totally our own little village for the weekend! Perfect for beauty sleep!” says Eileen.

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Day Two will take place in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. We will start out on a trail and then go through some beautiful local neighborhoods before heading back into nature!

After lunch, we will hit the amazing St. Paul Utility Trail between two lakes in Vadnais Snail Regional Park.

Per Eileen, Day Two has “a good mix of streets and trails on this day, but the Vadnais Park is breathtaking!”

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Day Three is a favorite of Coach Kiki Setterlund’s, thanks to the Indian Mound Park in the heart of St. Paul. It will be about 70-80% of street walking on Sunday, but Indian Mound Park overlooks St. Paul for epic views. Walkers will then go down a hill towards the water.

“You’ll have great views as you walk through the city, and then you’ll come up to the Closing Ceremony!”

Eileen echoes that sentiment, saying that crossing Wabasha Bridge towards Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island is like a “victory march” to end the 3-Day.

The Closing Ceremony site on Harriet Island is another one of Kiki’s favorite spots.

“It is our third year there, and the beautiful backdrop of St. Paul has great views of the Mississippi River!”

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All in all, there will be plenty of scenic views over the course of all sixty miles, and the whole Twin Cities 3-Day team is hoping for some sunshine so walkers can enjoy them!

Kiki promises, “The local staff has sent in a memo to Mother Nature to request blue skies and sunny weather! It looks like we might get finally that after a few years of tough weather in the past. We are hoping that Mother Nature will work with us. We can’t wait to have you all on the route this year and in our gorgeous city!”

For more of our favorite sights from the Twin Cities 3-Day, check out our photo slideshow!

What are you looking forward to most on the Twin Cities 3-Day? Tell us in the comments! And, if you have any more questions, your Twin Cities 3-Day coaches are here to help!

Sister, Sister: Meet Angela and Shelly

The bond between sisters is truly unique and special, but the bond between “Titsters” is even deeper! Just ask Angela and Shelly, a sister duo who are part of the 3 Day family. Angela is currently battling breast cancer, and Shelly walks for Team Titster in the Twin Cities 3-Day in her honor.

From a young age, these two were joined at the hip, which meant Angela getting all her hair cut off when Shelly wanted to play “beauty parlor” or putting on plays and concerts together in their neighborhood. These “Titsters,” Angela’s childhood name for her sister, have been there for each other through it all.

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That journey and support also includes Angela’s ongoing fight with breast cancer, one that Shelly has been a part of since Angela’s diagnosis. Angela was initially diagnosed with cancer when she was seven months pregnant, and her sister “was there immediately to ensure she was there for the birth of my baby girl and to hold my hand during my first chemotherapy. During that chemotherapy, all we did was laugh at videos, reminisce on memories, and I think about that more than being sick after the treatment.”

“After I completed my treatment after my first round of breast cancer, I went to a pretty dark place. The mental and physical struggle after treatment can be more challenging than anything. Woman and men feel more alone than ever. They have constant help, messages, and support during treatment, but what happens after is way more crucial. During treatment, we are in survival mode and cannot fully comprehend that we are going through cancer. Once treatment is done, the messages and help dwindle but the pain is still there. Our body is adjusting and still combatting the toll of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation. Mentally, we never recover. The constant thought of recurrence always lingers and life is never the same. At the same time, we gain strength in a different way and look at the world and see that life is a gift. We cherish memories differently, we see the kindness of family and our community, and know that every day counts.”

Angela’s treatment will continue for the rest of her life, as she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in January of 2016. Stage IV research made up nearly 40% of Susan G. Komen’s overall research investment in 2016, with more than $166 million in funding for over 400 research grants and more than 40 clinical trials focused on metastatic disease to date. Aside from research and monetary support, Angela says she is constantly amazed by the support she receives from her family and even the community at large.

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“What is so enlightening with all these clinical trials is that everything is so new at this point. And it is scary regardless, but what I like to tell people is that every day is a gift, but also a battle. Cancer is not going to control my life. It’s always going to be a part of me, but it does not define me.

“I’m also confident that I will live my life to inspire people and show people that despite being diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t define you. I keep a happy journal, and at the end of every day I write my favorite part of the day, whether it’s a wonderful moment with my kids or a great conversation with my sister.”

3day20153Angela also credits Shelly as her rock, even from states away.

“The bond I have with my sister has helped me tremendously with this struggle and she truly showcases the bond that sisters have. She was there to comfort me and help me understand this it’s okay to still cry, but more importantly to laugh. We live in different states and I know that signing up for the 3-Day was just another way to show that she’s always there to face my battles with me, even if we cannot do it together.”

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Part of Shelly’s support has come through her involvement in the 3-Day, which began as a crew member and has continued as a walker and fundraiser for the team she formed last year, Team Titster. Her first year on the 3-Day was a monumental one.

“When I signed up to be in the crew, part of the sign-up mentioned possibly being a part of the Opening or Closing Ceremony, speaking and carrying the sister flag,” Shelly explained when talking about speaking at her first walk. “The day before the walk at Crew Training, I met a bunch of very friendly, fun gals, who when I spoke on stage the next morning, cheered me on, even though I was nervous, and even though I was a stranger to them up until the day before. That has been my experience with everyone connected to the walk. Just good people.”

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For her second year with the 3 Day, Shelly took to the trails and walked in her sister’s honor.

“When I decided to walk the next year, I was a little intimidated by the fundraising. But I found that when I reached out to my network to let them know why I was walking, and asked them to consider donating, people were more than willing to support me and Angie and the cause. I also found that almost every one of them had a connection to breast cancer. That alone is sad, but it motivated me even more to walk for those who also had loved ones battling or had battled the disease.”

Shelly helped her fundraising cause by casting a wide net for her initial email ask with a link to her page, along with a write up about Angela and a picture of “my little sister hero.” She also writes a 3-Day blog and shares that along with thank you cards to all her supporters to help them feel like they were there for her journey along the 60 miles.

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When she started Team Titster in her third year on the 3-Day, Shelly expanded her fundraising email list and worked on her social media to raise even more. She targeted her competitive spirit and eventually raised more than $2,000 more than her first year. She was also the #7 Top Fundraiser for the Twin Cities 3-Day.

This success is no surprise to Angela, who has always been inspired and supported by their sisterhood.

“Shelly has always been my role model, and is someone that I’m inspired to be like. She is always the first person I want to talk to when I’m having a bad day, but more importantly, I want to talk to her in my great days.”

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The love is certainly mutual, with Shelly calling Angela a super hero.

“Angie is small in stature but big in personality, perseverance and mostly in heart. She is feisty and fun, outgoing and stubborn, and those are all things we have in common. […] I realize that I have the best sister in the world. She doesn’t judge me, she’s been there for me when others have not been, and I am so proud of her in every way possible. Angie is my heart.”

That heart is going to finally experience the 3-Day for the first time this year. Angela will be making the trip from Chicago to the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2017 to cheer on Team Titster, which Shelly hopes to grow this year as well.

“I’m excited to be there the first time to cheer on my sister and Team Titster!” Angela enthuses. “I’m also happy to be able to volunteer and see the 3-Day. I’m thrilled and a bit nervous for the emotional experience but more importantly, I can’t wait to see and listen to the inspiring stories, and to hold the hands of Team Titster and fellow walkers.

“I know this walk means a lot to Shelly, and I know that every mile she walks, she truly is walking in my shoes to take some of the pain away. I’ve always looked up to my sister. She has more determination, heart and spirit than anyone I’ve ever met. I’ve also come to realize that those qualities are what inspires me to fight harder every day.”

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Shelly echoes that determination, saying that the 3-Day is “emotional (lots of crying, both happy and heart wrenching), challenging (walking and training to walk 60 miles is no easy feat), and unforgettable (experiences and memories that are priceless and make you want to come back).”

Both Angela and Shelly will continue to come back as walkers, volunteers or supporters, until a cure is found.

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“There is still no cure for breast cancer,” Shelly states simply. “That in itself gives me purpose and determination to keep doing the walks. My favorite button on my 3-Day water pack is ‘Every Blister Saves a Sister.’ I am prone to blisters, no matter how much training I do, (last year, I had 11 by the end of Day 3) so walking until there is a cure is something I feel like I can do, and will try to keep doing until there is no more breast cancer. Blisters do not hurt, physically or emotionally, as much as cancer does. And of course, my sister inspires me, not just to do the walk, but she inspires me every day.”

The power of sisterhood on the 3-Day is real, and every step makes a difference.