Trina O’Boyle is the voice behind O’Boy! Organic, a lifestyle blog which covers healthy eating, style, parenting and more. Trina walked in the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day, her second 3-Day event, and shared her experiences with us.
I’ve known about Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day for years. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer over 10 years ago, she dedicated countless hours to participating in local breast cancer awareness walks and educating others on the importance of early detection. My mother was fortunate to have discovered her breast cancer early and was in remission for years. Unfortunately, in 2011 a new cancer invaded my mom – lung cancer. Unfortunately, it was not caught early and in 2013 at the age of 75 my mom lost her life.
Losing my mom to cancer was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. A part of me died with her, and I spent a year grieving the loss of my mom and best friend. During my healing process I was reminded of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and right away I knew this was something I HAD to do, for me and my mom. You see, she had always wanted to do the 3-Day but never could. Now I could do it for her. So in 2014, I tackled my first 3-Day in Philadelphia. It was life changing.
I still remember the first day of the 3-Day in 2014. We were not even halfway through and I was chatting with some other walkers, just meeting for the first time. They asked if this was my first 3-Day. I said yes, and their response surprised me and has stuck with me ever since: “Welcome to the family.” That is truly what the Susan G. Komen 3-Day is: a family. A family made up of all sorts of people volunteering—working as crew members and walkers. We come together for one common goal: to end breast cancer.
We celebrate not the first person that arrives at camp each day but the last, because that is what family does.
I loved the 3-Day so much that I decided to tackle it again in 2015. This time around I was able to share this amazing experience with my best friend. Having the opportunity to experience something like this with someone close to you is truly a special thing that I know we will both remember for a lifetime. We encouraged, pushed and counted on one another throughout the 60 miles like never before and I feel blessed to have had her by my side.
I’ve been volunteering since I was in high school. I started out as a candy striper, then after my grandfather passed away I volunteered with my local hospice. As a blogger, I’ve committed to using my online voice to educate others on important causes and issues. As a mother, I include my kids in my volunteering efforts by taking them to soup kitchens and donating items to local charities during the holiday season or when we see the need locally and/or globally. By participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day you are not only experiencing something magical and inspiring but you are also volunteering – your time, your hard work, your fundraising expertise – to end breast cancer.
As a blogger, I’ve been committed to using my online voice to educate others on important causes and issues that we may not have thought twice about. And while most 3-Day walkers probably don’t think of themselves as volunteers for the cause, they are, because they are freely giving their time and energy to doing something good (and of course, the 3-Day crew members and other supporters are world class volunteers too). So why do it, why volunteer? Yes, it makes you feel good but there are a lot of other reasons.
5 Benefits of Volunteering
It Saves Resources – Volunteers are the backbone to many charities. Some studies have found that the estimated value of a volunteer is $23 an hour. People who take time out of their lives to volunteer are providing valuable services so that more money can be spent elsewhere. This is definitely true at the 3-Day, where hundreds of people work on the amazing all-volunteer crew to keep the huge 3-Day event running like clockwork.
It’s Good For Your Health – Volunteering and participating in charitable events like the 3-Day reduces stress, changes your mood and affects your emotions in a positive way. Think about it: When you focus on someone other than yourself, you stop thinking about all your problems which makes you a happier person.
It Brings People Together – When you volunteer or take part in the 3-Day you come together with people of all backgrounds. Everyone is working towards one common goal and it helps build friendships and encourages teamwork.
You Learn A Lot – Besides discovering some hidden talents, volunteering allows people to try new activities that they may not have ever thought they would do. Whether you’re helping out for a few hours or spending three days walking 60 miles, giving your time to a cause can turn into a lifetime of learning and continued opportunities to help others.
You Make a Difference – Even doing small things can have a huge impact. Volunteers and participant fundraisers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities worldwide.
By doing the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, you will push yourself physically and emotionally. Then at the end, when you feel you can’t go one step farther, you get such a sense of accomplishment and self worth that YOU’VE DONE SOMETHING! After completing 60 miles and raising money to end breast cancer you WILL be changed for the better because you will have helped so many.
Thank you, Susan G. Komen, for giving me the opportunity to experience the 3-Day for two years. It has helped me heal emotionally from the loss of my mother and has given me the courage to have a voice to help others in need.