A Salute to the 3-Day Medical Crew

Today is National Nurse’s Day, and we are honored to have many accomplished nurses as part of our 3-Day Medical Crew. Along with doctors, physician’s assistants and other medical professionals, these nurses keep all our 3-Day participants safe and healthy during the 3-Day weekend.

To celebrate them, and nurses across the country, we had a few of our 3-Day Medical Crew Captains share their 3-Day stories.

Barb Diamond Johnson, Medical Captain at the Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Days

My commitment to the 3-Day and our local Komen affiliate is thanks to the care my mom received when her insurance fell short. Her care was funded by Susan G. Komen. I initially did the 3-Day in 2007 as a way to pay that back. My intention was to be one and done. But I’m still here…haha! My husband, two daughters, and son-in-law all now participate, too. I even met my current three best friends through the 3-Day.

I have so many amazing memories from my time on the 3-Day…

Years ago, my grandmother lived in Oregon. She used to help take care of the “neighbor girl.” I was in college at this point. I don’t ever remember hearing the neighbor girl’s name. My 1st year in Seattle, (Medical Lead) Jason Page assigned a social worker to my crew. I felt very drawn to her and would continue to have dinner with her when I would come to Seattle to visit my oldest daughter. Later while visiting with her, someone asked where she grew up. She mentioned the town where my grandparents lived. Lo and behold, she is that same neighbor girl! I had quite an ugly cry at that moment. We both now have bracelets that say “Gramma Glady’s Girls.”

Then, another year, we had a participant with Stage IV breast cancer whose family had been pushing her through the event. She would nap at lunch on our cots. Dr. Jim Lummus pushed her from Pit Stop 4 into the Participant Finish Area. We all were affected and inspired by her courage.

I have so many funny memories, and even a few moments of intense emotion, all from the 3-Day.

Robin Knapmiller, Medical Team Captain at the Twin Cities and San Diego 3-Days

It’s hard to express in words the love and appreciation I have for my Medical Team, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize them and thank them for all they do. They have shown over and over the ability to work with complete strangers in a new environment, and to do so with love and compassion, what a gift! I truly believe the personal connection makes a difference in the lives of the walkers. I have seen over and over how they not only treat the blisters and illnesses…but really get to know the walkers by name, share in their stories, meet their families and cry both happy and sad tears together! Sending love and thanks to ALL the3Day Medical Crew. You truly are THE BEST!

I am so honored to be among you, and to have my family at my side too! My daughter Jenni grew up watching me work the event, but since there was not a Youth Corps then, she had to wait until she was older to help. In 2013, Jenni got her Nursing Degree and we could finally work the events together. We haven’t missed a year since!  

Do you have a member of the medical crew who you would like to salute? Are you a medical crew member with a memory from the 3-Day to share? Tell us in the comments! We are honored to have so many talented medical professionals keeping us safe all weekend long.

For more stories about our 3-Day Medical Crew, you can check out these blog posts:

Congratulations to the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Patty Miller

Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Patty Miller! 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 Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Patty with this special honor.

Patty has walked in the Twin Cities 3-Day for ten years, and has raised more than $120,000 total for the 3-Day!

Her son Austin says, “My mom is truly amazing. While most sons, when asked to describe their mother, would state that she is “amazing”, I am not alone in this assessment of my mom. As a young child, I remember people calling our house and telling me, “You’re Patty Miller’s son? She is an angel. Do you know that your mom is an angel?” I do know that. In fact, for my entire life she has been completely dedicated to serving others and to making all around her better.”

He went on to describe her dedication to the 3-Day, and was the consummate proud son.

“My Mom did not start doing the 3-Day until she was nearly 60 years old. I will never forget her first year doing the walk. I believe she was the number two fundraiser and the fifth or six walker to cross the end line. We stayed around the finish for hours cheering in the other walkers and ultimately partaking in the closing ceremony. It was clear to me on that day that Komen would become an important part of my mom’s life.”

And so it has! We heard just how much the 3-Day means to Patty when we spoke directly to her…

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

My dear mom stopped walking when she was only 35 years old. Cancer killed my vibrant, young mother and left motherless, me at age 4, my brother at age 7 and my sister at age 1. We’ve forever had that hole in our hearts of missing her. So I walk for and other her because I can.

What brings you back year after year?

I return year after year to walk because cancer has devastated our world and families as much as poverty or oppression. Komen helps others throughout the world while working on advanced treatments. Komen reminds us to care for our bodies as health means everything. And so I walk.

What is your secret to fundraising success?

I talk about Susan G. Komen and our 60 mile journey as often as I can. I ask on Facebook if anyone wants to contribute as well as add a name on my shirt of a loved one who has fought against cancer or is fighting now. I tell my mom’s story. I offer to speak at community events. And I THANK and THANK! Anyone who helps me with training walks or donates money, I send email thanks and Facebook thanks and snail mail thanks and kudos throughout the year.

Best advice to anyone walking 3-Day?

Make it a celebration! Celebrate YOU for taking this commitment of time and energy! Mostly, celebrate the lives you’re touching by making a positive difference in the fight against cancer.

Tell us a fun fact about you!

I support every kind of event that benefits cancer – it’s my retirement volunteer job.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on 3-Day?

People who are passionate about ending cancer are among the greatest people anywhere.  Every walker, every helper, every person who comes to cheer or work the course, every staff and every person in a car that passes and honks on the 3-Day journey seems to be bonded in a positive caring goal to find a cure and meaningful treatments. Differences disappear to work together on this most urgent goal and purpose. I’m humbled to be a part of Susan G. Komen 3-Day!

2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Route Preview

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. However, we made some big changes to Day Two that we are excited to share! Read on for more…

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!

However, this year we will be starting in a different area of the mall, in the Herberger’s Lot, due to construction at the mall. However, Event Production Manager Eileen Barnick promises that there will be plenty of people directing and helping everyone find the Opening Ceremony, so look for them. We will get this 3-Day started off on a great, fun foot!

Day One will begin in residential parts of Edina and we will walk around Harriet Lake and Lake Calhoun. This will give our 3-Dayers some great nature walk time!

Then, before lunch we will walk through the Sculpture Garden, which is always a fan favorite. Leaving the garden, we will walk across the pedestrian bridge, which just re-opened to the public in August. It is re-painted and looks beautiful and colorful!

Lunch will then be at Loring Park, and following lunch we will walk through Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis for about a mile. This is an outdoor mall that has its own stretch of private road that cars aren’t allowed on.

Eileen is particularly excited about this stretch of the day, saying, “It has lots of cute restaurants and shops that are trendy and fun! That is a big new part of Day One. Also, keep an eye out for the Mary Tyler Moore statue and get your photos!”

We will end the day passing through the University of Minnesota on the way to Camp at Harvest Park in Maplewood.

“It’s so big and open and they’re so nice to us there. They love having the 3-Day!” Eileen says. “It also gives us access to some great trails to start and end our days with, so it’s just a perfect location.”

After a night of beauty rest, Day Two will unveil an almost completely new, shorter route. This is based on feedback from last year’s event, and our whole 3-Day team is excited for walkers and Crew to experience the day.

As we leave in the morning, we will head to White Bear Lake, which is breathtaking! Walk into the harbor and on a path around the lake, and then into the town. Keep an eye out for local cheering stations and support throughout the town.

“Otter Lake comes next! Day Two is a lot of lakes. We love those nature times!” Eileen promises.

Lunch will take place at Calvary Church Grounds, and after lunch we head through more neighborhoods and walk the St. Paul Water Utility Trail, which takes walkers between two lakes.

Cheerleaders will then welcome walkers home to camp!

Eileen is most excited for everyone to see Day Two and thinks walkers will really enjoy the changes.

Then, finally on Day Three, walkers will see much of the same route as last year but there will be slightly more downtown St. Paul walking. We will go through lots of local neighborhoods, plus Battle Creek and other local trails. As we go into St. Paul, we will walk through Indian Mounds park, which overlooks the city. Prime photo time there!

Once we get into the city, Eileen says to keep an eye out for farmer’s markets!

The day will wind down at Kellogg Mall Park along the river, which has nice shady trees to help stave off that summer heat. We will be walking along the Mississippi River right before walkers come into the Closing Ceremony after they cross the Wabasha Bridge, which is stunning and perfect for photos!

The Closing Ceremony is once again on Harriet Island, but there will be a few changes in the stage ceremony itself. Stay tuned for those! It will be just as celebratory and exciting though so never fear! Eileen and the Twin Cities 3-Day staff can’t wait to welcome everyone into the Pink Bubble and support you through every step of your 3-Day journey.