Congratulations to the 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Cynthia Geye

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Cynthia Geye. 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 Cynthia with this special honor.

Before she left home for the 3-Day this year, we talked to Cynthia about what the 3-Day means to her. She is walking this year with her granddaughter Callie Powers, and walking for Jen, Callie’s mom and Cindy’s daughter. When Callie was born, Cindy had just completed treatment and she told the family that Callie would be her reason to live and keep fighting. Now, Callie is walking with Cindy for the first time, in Jen’s honor.

Jen says that Cindy is “a very positive person, always looking on the bright side, laughing and is totally goofy. She has made this walk her passion and will not stop until we eradicate this disease.”

We are honored to share Cindy’s story, in her own words, below…

Back in 2005, one year after surviving 3 bouts of metastatic breast cancer, my oldest daughter suggested, no, she insisted that we do something big in the fight against breast cancer. She had seen an ad for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer walks. She used every coercive method she could to convince me to walk. I, of course, came up with every imaginable excuse as to why I should NOT walk. But, walk we did (even convinced my younger daughter to join us).

Since then, I have walked every year and every city multiple times. Sometimes with my daughters and many times as a solo walker. This year, I am walking with my granddaughter. This is my 27th walk and each walk is so memorable. With every walk, I meet new friends. We share our stories, our tears, our hopes for the future. We laugh, we cry, and we support one another. Each walk is 3 days full of kindness, caring and commitment.

When I first started walking, there was a song titled “Why We Walk.” The refrain says it all: “We walk to remember. We walk to celebrate…. For those who are gone and those who live on. We honor them all and that’s why we walk.”

You see, God has given me amazing health these last 20+ years and I can use it to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The blisters, aches and pains are nothing compared to what every cancer patient goes through when we are battling this disease.

As I am a fast walker, I have been told many times that it is not how fast you walk, but, rather, enjoying the 3-Day journey. This is about all the people, not just the walkers.

It’s all the people that come out to cheer us on. The bald women with their signs that say “Thank you. You’re walking for me.”  To know that we are helping them have a second chance at life. Every survivor, no matter where they live, deserve the best possible care.

It’s about the little girls holding their signs that say, “Please find a cure before I grow up.”  To have the color pink be more than the symbol for breast cancer, but rather the color for hair ribbons and prom dresses.

This is not about what you endure while walking – the blisters, aches and pains – it is so much more.  It is what you walk away with – the memories that will last a lifetime.  While my own cancer journey was very scary, not knowing if I would survive, it has ended up as a true gift.  It has brought me many blessings, a deeper faith and a richer perspective on life.  It has brought me to the 3-Day.

Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

It’s hard to believe it, but we’re only days away from our Twin Cities 3-Day! We can’t wait to take this 60-mile journey with all our Minnesota 3-Dayers, and no one is more excited than our 3-Day coaches. As our team makes the final preparations and plans for the 60-mile journey, we thought it was about time that you all get to know our Twin Cities 3-Day coaching team.

Meet Coaches Liz and Heather, our amazing Crew Coordinator Kiki and Event Manager Eileen. They make the 3-Day magic happen year-round, working every day towards this weekend. That means that they spend a lot of time together, and they love it that way. They are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, just like they cheer for you!

  • Liz is the definition of “excellent customer service” and Kiki considers her to be “my Webster’s Dictionary of the 3-Day!” She knows everything and can be your one-stop shop for any questions or needs you have leading up to, and during, the weekend.
  • Kiki is the Crew and coaching team’s best resource — funny and quick-witted and she knows all the right ways to support her Crew.
  • Eileen planned your amazing 3-Day route, and Liz says she “is the master at getting things done.” And, according to Liz, she has a wicked dry sense of humor! Maybe she has some 3-Day puns to share 😉
  • Last but certainly not least, Coach Heather is a new addition to the Twin Cities team, and her fellow coaches describe her as “so full of energy, when she is laughing you cannot help but join in and you can always depend on her for a really fun time.” We can’t wait to see her smiling face out on the route!

Eileen has already given us a preview of just what that route will look like, and some of her favorite spots are:

  • Nicollet Mall where our Opening Ceremony will take place, inside the Hyatt Regency
  • The Nicollet Mall art fest
  • Lake Minnehaha Boulevard
  • Minnehaha Regional Park and Minnehaha Falls
  • White Bear Lake and the surrounding community
  • Stone Arch Bridge

But that’s not all the walkers and crew members can look forward to!

Heather promises “an incredible weekend full of inspiration, laughter, tears, amazing memories, countless hugs, and endless high fives!”

Kiki added, given that this walk takes place in Minnesota, out-of-towners and locals alike will experience everything that the state is known for: “beautiful scenery and the nicest people on the planet.”

To get you ready for all of that, our coaches also have advice to help you in the final days before you begin your journey.

  • Coach Kiki encourages everyone to work together. “Ask for help when you need it and offer it when you think it’s needed by others.”
  • Coach Heather reminds everyone to be in the moment! “Yes, there are many photo opportunities, but don’t miss “being in it” just to see it in pictures later. Be present! Remember, there are so many pictures being taken by those around you, the moment will surely be captured by someone!”
  • Coach Liz echoes that and adds to “be sure to drink more than you think you need, both water and sports drink. There is no rush; you have all day, so enjoy every moment.”

That includes enjoying time at our new hotel camp! Liz says some highlights to especially look forward to are “a great community feel as we gather in one banquet room, a nice comfy bed at the end of the day, and a bathtub!”

What more could you want? How about quality time with these amazing ladies, and all of your 3-Day family? 😊 In just a few days, we’ll all be together in the Pink Bubble…We’ll see you soon!

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: