Meet Team Independent: A Family Affair on the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day

The 3-Day becomes like a family for many in our community, bringing people from all walks of life together in the fight for a world without breast cancer. Some even bring their own personal family and friends along with them to the 3-Day. When the 3-Day family becomes one with your own, magical and amazing memories are made.

If you need any inspiration to invite your family to join your 3-Day team this year, you can look no further than Melissa L. and Team Independent in Dallas/Fort Worth. Their team of family members and supporters is the perfect example of incorporating your own motivation and family love into your 3-Day journey.

Everyone from her daughter Alex and her husband David to nieces, her sister-in-law, and her nephew have all joined Melissa on Team Independent over the years. In fact, Alex has continued to walk while attending college, graduate school, and having multiple children. Melissa’s nephew Becket was a Youth Corps member who is looking forward to walking his first 3-Day this year. To say the 3-Day has become a family affair for Melissa is quite the understatement!

After years of walking and crewing with her family, Melissa is full of tips, tricks and memories to help you make the most of your own 3-Day experience. Whether you walk with friends, family or solo, she is a well of information. We’ll let her take it from here…

How did you first find your way to the 3-Day family?

I initially heard about the 3-Day back in 2004 on a radio commercial. I was five years from my diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer and my daughter Alex was in high school then.

However, we didn’t fully jump into the Pink Bubble until 2007. Alex was in college and my husband was our “walker stalker.” My husband is an avid cyclist and saw the Route Safety Crew riding their bikes, which got him interested. He jumped onto Route Safety in 2008! He enjoyed being part of the crew and couldn’t understand why I hadn’t joined the 3-Day crew yet, too. So, in 2010, I joined him on Route Safety with the provision that he would walk with us in 2011. I have to say that Route Safety was great fun, but it was so much harder than being a walker for me! So, David walked in 2011 for the first time and he has been a walker ever since!

We always walk in Dallas/Fort Worth. We love supporting our hometown and hosting out-of-town team members!

What are your tips for walking and participating with your own family?

  • Know everyone’s pace and capabilities and use the buddy system with teenagers. Empower everyone to stick to their pace and avoid injury both on training walks and on the event.
  • At the 3-Day, make a schedule to meet for meals or activities, so more experienced walkers can help and encourage the new walkers.
  • Make fun shirts and pink bling! Matchy-matchy is the way to go! Be “family proud.” 😊
  • Train together. Training walks are a great way to unplug and spend time together. It’s amazing how much you can learn about nieces and nephews when you leave electronics at home!

What are some of your best memories from the 3-Day?

Being a long-term part of the 3-Day family, I was asked to speak at the camp show in 2017 and David also spoke at the Opening Ceremony that year. We were both proud to take an active role in sharing our story with our pink family.

Then in 2018, my husband and I walked with our daughter and teenage nieces. Our nephew was on Youth Corps in the same year. It was great to experience the 3-Day through their fresh eyes. We held up on Day 3 so we could all cross the finish line together! We were so proud of those teenagers!

That year was eventful, too! In 2018 we were evacuated from camp because of a severe thunderstorm. Since David and I are avid backpackers, we secured our tent before vacating and after the storms passed, we jumped back in our tent and it was warm and dry. It was seriously so impressive to watch the Susan G. Komen and event staff manage the crew and walkers to keep us safe and then to get us back to sleep before we had to walk on Day 3. Well done everyone!

In general, though, the best memories come from the friends we have made walking thousands of miles on training walks and on event.

What does “commitment” mean to you?

Commitment means standing strong with our pink family of survivors, co-survivors and the loving and dedicated family and friends of those who continue to fight for those we have lost. Commitment means no matter what else life brings our way — death of parents, serious illnesses, welcoming our son-in-law and then welcoming grandsons — we keep putting one foot in front of the other and we keep raising awareness and money to find the CURE!

What are your 2020 3-Day plans?

2020 once again finds David and I walking in Dallas/Fort Worth. Our daughter, Alex, will be a 20-mile walker as she will be giving birth to her second son before the event this year! Our nephew Beckett will be a first-time 3-Day walker this year and our youngest twin nephews are going to apply for Youth Corps! I’ve challenged myself to raise $12,000 this year. It’s a personal bold goal, but I think I can do it! Nothing can stop us!

You can join Melissa and Team Independent in Dallas/Fort Worth in November, or the rest of our 3-Day family at our other 2020 cities by signing up on our website!

How the 3-Day Can Help Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions

People say it takes at least 21 days of doing something to form a habit. However, it’s also about that time that people start to slide away from the big goals they set or challenges they made for themselves. We’re coming to the end of the first month of 2020, and if your excitement over your New Year’s Resolution is starting to fade…you aren’t alone!

If you’re signed up for the 3-Day, you’ve already made strides in the right direction (even if you don’t know it)! The 3-Day can help you achieve your other 2020 goals in a variety of ways. While you train and fundraise for the big 60-mile weekend, you can also gain inspiration and motivation for additional resolutions. Here’s how…

You’ll have both long- and short-term goals

Every step of training and fundraising is an important one. That means you’ll have to set shorter term goals for yourself before you make it to the 3-Day. Your long-term goal will be to raise $2,300 (or more!) but your short-term goals will be to get that first donation, raise $100, then $500, etc. By setting weekly or monthly goals, you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment when you hit those milestones or light a fire of motivation to hit the next objective. Having short term goals allows you to track your progress and keep you in line towards hitting your ultimate aim.

You’ll be held accountable

Those short-term goals, coach check-ins, training walks and team events will help you stay accountable. Share your 3-Day goals, as well as your other resolutions, with your 3-Day friends and teammates. They will help hold you accountable and cheer you on all year long!

You’ll have a community

Whether you sign up for the 3-Day on your own, join with a friend, or become part of an existing team, you are NEVER alone on the 3-Day. You’ll find new friends and be a part of a larger new family just by participating. There are 3-Dayers who form cross-country friendships, go on team trips, and make the 3-Day part of their everyday lives. This new community will provide constant support and joy as you conquer all your goals.

You’ll have FUN while you make progress

Not all goal setting is fun. It can seem tedious or slow-going. But the 3-Day is always full of joy! So, no matter how hard you’re working, so long as you’re working alongside your 3-Day family, you’ll be having fun along the way.

What are your resolutions for 2020? Tell us in the comments so we can start creating a community of goal-setting this year! And if you haven’t signed up for the 3-Day, make today your day!

3-Day Facts and Infographics for a Committed New Year

The start of a new year is often the time when people re-affirm their commitments or set new goals for the upcoming months. It’s a fresh start and a time to tackle life with enthusiasm. It’s also a great time to kick your training, recruiting and fundraising into high gear! The holidays might be behind us, but the spirit of the giving season remains. People will be so excited to hear about your plans to commit 3 days in 2020!

When you’re reaching out to people for donations, or to ask them to walk with you, it will be totally natural that people have questions about the impact of the 3-Day.

Luckily, Susan G. Komen has created infographics that make it easy to answer these questions, and to learn more about the cause you are working so hard for. You can see the full range of infographics on the 3 Day website, or easily download some of the newest additions to make the most of your information-sharing. Print them to pass out, attach the files to your fundraising emails, or post the images on social media.

These are eye-catching and to-the-point breakdowns to motivate you, and those around you, to continue working and walking towards a cure.

These infographics give an overview of 3-Day fundraising overall, including the fact that we have raised more than $863 million since the 3-Day began in 2003! They also show the local impact that the 3-Day makes in states like Texas, California, Illinois, Massachusetts and many more.

This helps us fully understand the direct effect of our work, both in the states where we walk the 3-Day, and in other states as well! Komen released these easy infographics to show the true, real impact of local research dollars. These are also great informational resources to share with potential donors, or to send to your donors from your 2019 3-Day to show them just how much their support means. Because it means the world to many people!

There is also a “Fast Facts” section right on the Infographics page, where you can find quick and easy links to topics like:

  • Early Detection, Diagnostic and Risk Biomarkers
  • Nutrition and Breast Cancer
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Targeted Therapies
  • BRCA Genes
  • Clinical Trials
  • and more!

These are perfect for donors who have more specific questions, for new team members, or to share on your first training walks of 2020.

If you want more information about Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day, you can ALWAYS reach out to your coach with questions, or check out the 3-Day website to find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, along with more information about the 3-Day experience.

This information is created for you, to make your life easier as you prepare for your 3-Day journey this year! We hope it inspires your steps and gets you moving in the right direction.