Congratulations to the 2018 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder

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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 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder.

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Milena’s sister Trina says, “Several years ago, my sister convinced me to walk the 3-Day walk with her. I was hesitant, but she was relentless in her decision and wanted to share this journey with me to honor our mother, Riitta, who lost her battle to breast cancer 23 years ago. What began as two sisters joining the 3-Day became a crusade of women who Milena mobilized and inspired to join. Milena’s leadership would continue on through three separate 3-Day walks, countless fundraisers, training walks, and a community of women….. all created through a passionate plea to end breast cancer. Why go small when you can create a band of sisters, a team, to take this cause to the next level? Milena has done just that, and her devotion to this cause is inspiring. I am so thankful to be her sister and her 3-Day teammate.”

Milena tells us more about her More Than Pink way of life…

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

I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 48. She had a long battle and during her fight, I also lost my father to cancer. He passed on when I was 18 and she passed when I was 22. This shaped me in so many ways. I walk for their memory and I also walk for my children and husband. We have 6 children together and my goal is that they never have to experience this loss. This walk brings my parents back to me in a sense each year that I walk and lets my children see and know their grandparents as well as see their mother fight for a cause.

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

When I first started the walk, I reached out to our neighborhood mom’s Facebook group.  I was blown away by the response from the other moms. Our team keeps growing and with our 3rd year, we have formed lasting friendships and amazing memories.  Plus, as a team we have raised over $175,000 together. The experience itself is incredible and the beautiful team mates who have all been touched by cancer in some way or form bring me back year after year.

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

I ask everyone, and I mean everyone I know! I am always surprised by who ends up donating each year and the connections and ways people have been touched by breast cancer. It seems like there are so many who have had someone in their lives affected by breast cancer. Their stories when they donate always touch my heart

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

Train! You don’t need to over-train but at least get out there and walk for long periods of time. Even those on our team who have done marathons say that walking is a totally different experience for them. Being on your feet for that long is tough and unexpected. Also, enjoy the 3 day and keep your ears, heart, and eyes open. The walk is unlike anything you will ever do again and is such an amazing experience. It’s why I keep coming back year after year.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have 6 kids! My husband and I have 5 boys and 1 girl and their ages range from 16 down to our 5 year old twin boys. My husband handles all of them with finesse on the weekends as my training ramps up in September, October, and November. Its a total family team effort. We are a loud, crazy, and fun family. I also teach full time and am surrounded by children at all times. I joke that I wake up to children, teach children, carpool and feed children, and with someone always crawling into bed with me, I never am not around children!

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

That the experience is different for everyone and to take the time to hear their stories.  The 3-Day is taxing on your body but what I take away each year is what has touched my heart.

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Philadelphia 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Ron MacDonald

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Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Philadelphia Milestone Award Winner; Ron MacDonald! 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 Ron with this special honor.

To his family and friends, Ron is the consummate 3-Dayer, filled with love, compassionate and dedication.

His daughter Darcie said, “When I talked my Dad into walking the 3-Day 9 years ago, I had no idea what his journey would look like. Nine walks later, 540 miles (not counting training), thousands of dollars raised, a tattoo on his arm with our team logo saying “NO More Goodbyes.” I can honestly say finding a cure for breast cancer has become a part of who my Dad is. Even now that he is battling his own cancer his determination to walk with all of you is even stronger. My Dad is a hero who’s love and passion to make a difference is contagious. My Dad walks to END breast cancer. He walks for all of you!”

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His grandchild Riley echoed that sense of family pride and love.

“I could not be any prouder of my Grandfather for being the recipient of this award.  My Grampy has dedicated so much of his time to help the fight against breast cancer.  He supports his teammates who have all become his best friends or as he likes to call them his “girlfriends”.  Even in spite of his own discovery of cancer it has never stopped motivating him to fight and help those who can’t.  After all his treatments this year all he could talk about is his excitement to walk with his team.  My Grampy has never let anything stop him from fulfilling his goal of making a difference and walking 60 miles.  My Grampy is a superhero.  I am so lucky and honored to walk 60 miles by his side.”

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Teammate Suzanne Higgins described what it’s like walking alongside Ron as one full of kindness and laughter. He is “the rock” of their team, and she is proud to call him her friend.

 “Ron is the beating male heart of our team. Literally, he’s the only man and he treats us and cares for us as though we were his own daughters.

Ron embodies “Milestone” – he literally puts down his head and pounds out the 60 “miles” like nobody’s business *and* he is the “stone/rock” of our team! […]

Above all, Ron has the biggest, most generous heart. He is fully committed to our team, No More Goodbyes…his pink daughters. And, we love him as the father of our team…our beloved 3-Day Dad.

Teammate Janet Daley said Ron is “a true team player! Whenever any one of us was low on funds he would share his donations with the team.  He never wanted his girls to not be able to walk with him.”

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Kristina Libby talked about his speed as well as his generosity, and says upon meeting him 9 years go, she was instantly shocked to witness a gentle giant walk so fast.”

Another one of his teammates, Deb Margolis seconded that sentiment, promising that Ron will almost always be at the front of the line. But she says he also never complains. You will “see him with a big smile on his face and hear him by his loud laugh.”

Kristina probably summed him up best when she said, “Ron is a dad, granddad, husband and a fantastic teammate. Everything he does he does with passion. He is determined to find a cure for cancer. For himself, for me, and for all the other men and women who have fought this battle. Ron means the world to me because we mean the world to Ron.”

After all of these amazing expressions of support, we then had to hear from Ron in his own words!

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

My daughter! She walked and wanted me to walk with her. Unfortunately, I was extremely overweight bracket (350 lbs) and couldn’t do it. She inspired me to lose weight – 175 pounds!  That provided me with the inspiration to do the walk.

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

Mainly the team of girls, No More Goodbyes! They have instilled in me how important the cause is and also the bonding I’ve developed with the team over the past nine years

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

A strong sincere letter/email explaining what the 3-Day is what the donations are used for. Our team has raised approximately $500,000 over the past years 10 years.

I also remind potential donors that I am a CPA and that all the money that they contribute to the 3-Day is fully deductible.

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

Have fun, remember to enjoy the experience, pray for no rain and few hills.

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

In spite of the blisters and aching muscles one endures during the walk,  it pales in comparison to what those effected with breast cancer experience.

 

“We can do more together” Meet Lenore C., Former AVON 39 Walker

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Lenore (in blue) with her teammates

This year, our 3-Dayers will see some new faces on walks across the country. That is because we are going to be welcoming walkers from AVON 39 into our pink family — and what a welcome addition they will be! Every new participant, from AVON 39 or any other source, is another warrior in our fight against breast cancer.

One new walker who has already joined the 3-Day® is Lenore C., who, along with some of her past AVON 39 teammates, will be walking the Philadelphia 3-Day. Lenore was born in Philly, and her family still lives there, so she is especially excited to be returning home for a cause she loves.

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“I’m excited to walk for freedom from breast cancer in the town that freedom built, and to be cheered on by (sort of) a home crowd.”

And how does she feel about making the switch from the AVON 39 walk (a two-day, 39-mile breast cancer walk that ended in 2017) to our 60-mile 3-Day? She is taking the new challenge on with enthusiasm and motivation!

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“When I saw Susan G. Komen was reaching out to AVON 39-ers, I felt a kinship and felt welcome. We are all in this together, after all. I have always known we can do more together than we could ever do alone. We can cure this thing! I’m walking so that one day, soon, daughters and sons will wonder what was breast cancer the same way they wonder what the heck we’re talking about when we mention rotary phones.”

She, and three members (so far) of her team, Team Transformation, will be making the journey from New York to Pennsylvania in pursuit of this goal. They are excited to join the 3-Day family, and have already begun training and fundraising together. Lenore plans to raise at least $5,000 but secretly has a goal of hitting $7,500.

How is she working to hit that goal? She’s doing it with teamwork!

Team Transformation has been combining training and fundraising with fun, local events in their community. “Bake sale, walk. Grocery store setup, walk. Talent show, walk. Joy of Walking class then a walk.”

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When they can’t walk together, they even FaceTime as they train separately. Anything to keep the family feel of their team alive. If she has to walk alone, Lenore listens to audiobooks to stay motivated, and gets in training whenever she can, be it early morning, late night, or even at lunch. After years on 39-mile weekends, she knows that training will be more important than ever for the 3-Day.

She is following the “your goal will become your warm up” mentality, using social media and apps to track her training while she breaks in her walking shoes, stretches her muscles, and gets ready for one of her favorite weekends of the year.

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She walks, and will keep walking… always. For herself, and for all the warriors and More Than Pink® people in her own life.

“Geri, my stepmom, 15 years a survivor, is More Than Pink! My mom, Jean, one of the strongest, most compassionate women I know is More Than Pink! And following their model strength, so is their daughter: I am More Than Pink! Ariel and Shya Kane, with their support for seeing the brilliance in all people, are More than Pink!”

We are so happy to welcome Lenore, Team Transformation, and all our future 3-Day family members to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day family with open arms!