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!

Meet Dr. Brionn T., Twin Cities 3-Day Medical Crew Lead

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Our Medical Crew is a key component of our 3-Day family and experience. They keep us safe and strong as we embark on a 60-mile weekend together. We are thankful for them every day, but specifically today, on National Doctor’s Day.

On this day, we want to thank the men and women who volunteer their time to keep our 3-Day family safe and sound. That includes Dr. Brionn T., Program Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Minnesota Health… and Twin Cities 3-Day Medical Crew member!

Brionn first became involved in the 3-Day almost five years ago, when a colleague got in touch with him to encourage people from their department to volunteer, as well as recruit the trainees that Brionn works with at the hospital.

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“We in the medical field have a very unique skill set. Most people go into healthcare to help people, and we’re fortunate that a lot of times we get paid to do it. But there are a lot of cases where people can benefit from medical care where we might not get paid to help. And those times are even more important!”

In his first year on event, Brionn camped overnight in the medical tent, instead of his own. He wanted to be there just in case anyone needed anything, all night long.

“I can still remember seeing that sea of pink tents for the first time! That, and the Closing Ceremony, was memorable and powerful, and will stay with me.”

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He hopes memories like that will also stay with the doctors and trainees he recruits to come back to the 3-Day with him year after year. The connections he makes with his fellow crew are ones he now treasures and looks forward to each year. He calls it a “reunion” and knows that any involvement with the 3-Day comes with its own sense of accomplishment.

“Even if I don’t walk, we help people get across the finish line. It’s about being part of the team, treating all the walkers and getting them moving again!”

That strikes the perfect balance of teamwork making the dream work, which, for Brionn is at the heart of the 3-Day.

“It’s fun… with a mission.”

This mission is now part of Brionn’s life all year, and he encourages everyone; doctors, volunteers, walkers, and more, to join him.

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When asked what he would say to get someone to join the 3-Day for the first time, he said, “Just jump in! You’re not going to regret either walking or volunteering. Find what works for you and just do it. You’ll make friends. You’ll feel accomplished and you will never be upset that you came out and did it.”

We’re certainly not upset that Brionn joined the 3-Day. Thank you Brionn, and all our Medical Crew, for coming out and being there whenever we need you.

Susan G. Komen 2017 Twin Cities 3-Day Wrap Up

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On Friday morning of our Twin Cities 3-Day, we began our 60-mile journey at the Southdale Mall in Edina. This historic spot was actually the location of the original Mall of America, and it was the perfect place to welcome both local and out-of-town walkers to the 3-Day.

The day started with perfect walking temperatures as our 3-Dayers arrived at the Disco Boobie Diner at Pit Stop 1. Already with 2.8 miles behind them, the walkers danced and boogied with their first taste of grahamwiches and 3-Day crew love.

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Pit Stop 2, at mile 6.8, was right along the water at Utley Park. Fittingly, the theme for the pit stop was Lake Minitata, and walkers could stop to “fish” for bras, or pose with floaties along the crew-created dock.

Lunch took place at Loring Park after 11.7 miles on the day, before our walkers made their way through more beautiful views at Father Hennepin Bluffs and B.F. Nelson Parks. The day ended on the University of Minnesota campus, before walkers were bussed to our picturesque camp at Harvest Park.

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Camp was a celebratory affair on Friday night as walkers relaxed in the Bank of America massage chairs, picked up their mail and sweet treats from home, and cheered on the top fundraisers (team, individual and crew) and award winners for the Twin Cities. Then, it was off to their pretty pink tents for a good night’s rest.

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A throwback photo from Jody’s Couch in year’s past

Day Two started off sunny and warm, and our walkers made great time coming into Pit One at Thunder Bay Park for a quick 3.2 miles. From there, they walked by the iconic Jody’s Couch, and saw love and support from the local community.

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From there, the walkers enjoyed time in Spooner, Acorn and Central Parks as they walked the next 8 miles (for a total of 11.2) to arrive at lunch! This lunch was hopping thanks to a fiesta theme, complete with salsa music, maracas, and lots of space to spread out and relax on the Mohawk Flooring pink mats. Walkers ate, relaxed, and even practiced yoga before heading back out on the route.

Just after lunch, there was an extra festive community cheering section led by the Boobettes, who danced and posed alongside walkers.

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Grab & Go B at mile 14.2 was coffee and barista themed, which gave walkers that extra “java boost” to carry them through Vadnais Park and onto to the Treasure Ye Chest pirates at Pit 4. From there, they only had a few miles left before arriving back at camp, having completed 22.6 miles on Saturday!

Saturday night was Friends & Family night at camp, so walkers got to spend some time with their loved ones. They played putt-putt golf and got chair massages at the Bank of America tent, listened to local musicians as well as speeches by Susan G. Komen researchers, and even had a dance party! They also met our amazing Twin Cities Youth Corps Crew, who received a standing ovation from walkers after providing lots of support and cheers all weekend long.

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Day 3 promised to be the sunniest and warmest of the weekend, so our walkers got right to work first thing in the morning. They reached Pit Stop 1 at Casey Lake Park in record time, and had already checked 3.5 miles off their list for the day!

From there, they passed Maplewood Middle School at mile 5.8 before breezing into lunch at the Conway Recreation Center. There was plenty of room to stretch out and relax in the shade, as well as a playground and even a fountain play area at lunch, making it a fun stop for walkers, as well as some of the community who came out to cheer them on. There was plenty to cheer for, as there were only 7 miles left to go before reaching the finish line!

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After lunch, walkers made their way through Indian Mounds Park, which provided plenty of beautiful views and awesome photo opportunities. Pit Stop 3 at Mile 14.3 especially had gorgeous views of St. Paul spread out below. After that, it was all down hill to Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island.

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It was a victorious final few miles for our walkers as they reached the finish area, and that feeling of accomplishment carried on through Closing Ceremony. Our 400 walkers and 175 crew members in the Twin Cities raised $1.1 million.

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However, their journey does not end here, and is never truly done, as was evidenced in our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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As we hugged and celebrated and danced in the sun, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Twin Cities. We are so very proud of each and every one of you, and cannot thank you enough for each of the 60 miles you walked this past weekend.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.

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