Meet Philly’s 3-Day Fighter: Walker Caren S.

Rocky!!!!!

On the 3-Day, it’s not uncommon to meet people who walk for their friends, their families, themselves or people they know who have been affected by breast cancer. Caren S. didn’t know anyone who had been affected by breast cancer – until, just one day after walking the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day, she found out that SHE was now living with the disease.

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In 2017, Caren walked her first 3-Day in Philadelphia. She didn’t know anyone with breast cancer, but had been inspired to join the 3-Day after seeing a woman wearing one of our Victory T-Shirts while she was running a half marathon. Caren trained and walked all on her own, coming in from Boston just to make that 60-mile, 3-Day journey. Right after the Closing Ceremony, she headed home…to what turned out to be a whole new world.

“The day after the walk ended, I drove back to Boston and immediately to a doctor’s appointment I had scheduled months in advance. It was just an appointment to get a prescription refill, but since this was a new physician’s assistant, she insisted on doing a well woman exam. Well, that PA found a lump in my breast. Flash forward to today, and I have stage 3 HER2+ breast cancer.”

Carol and Caren

This turn of events is one that many who are diagnosed with breast cancer know all too well. It immediately gave Caren “a whole new appreciation for Susan G. Komen, the 3-Day, all of the coaches, all of the volunteers, the survivors and the caregivers,” and has inspired her to already begin planning her 2018 walk goals.

One of them is to be walking as a survivor. And she’s going to approach that goal like one of her favorite movie characters.

“I’m obsessed with Rocky, literally. And during one of his fights, after 11 rounds of being beaten to a pulp, Rocky stood toe to toe with his opponent, looked him in the eye and confidently said, “I’m still standing here.” To me, that’s what the word “survivor” means. After chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, possible radiation, and 9 additional months of infusions, when I can say, “I’m still standing here,” that’s when I can call myself a survivor. To me, a survivor is someone who stood toe to toe with cancer, took all the hits, and kept moving forward until they beat it, scars, short hair and all.”

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As she continues to undergo treatment, battling her own scars, she’s also encouraging people to join her in 2018 on the 3-Day! It’s all part of her goal to keep moving forward, and she wants as many people as possible to join her on her journey.

“Between the volunteers, staff and other walkers, someone will always have your back and make sure you get what you need! I would say that the cause for which you are walking, mixed with the stories you hear over the 3 days, as well as the gorgeous and fun scenery, will make it an event you will remember for a lifetime. It’s all worth it as you’re walking.”

Me and Alyssa

Caren plans on walking throughout her treatment, though her training plan is different this year than last. Her heart has been weakened by her infusions so she will be bringing a friend with her for long walks, for the extra fun and support. She also gets help from her training playlist, which now doubles as her chemo playlist, too. The songs that pump her up and keep her going? Unsurprisingly they include the “Rocky” playlist, as well as:

  • “It’s A Fight” by Three 6 Mafia
  • “Stronger” by Kanye West
  • “Let the River Run” by Carly Simon
  • “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy
  • “Watch Me Shine” by Vanessa Carlton

And shine she will. She’s going to keep fighting, and like her pal Rocky, she’s never down for the count.

“I live my life by my favorite movie quote of all time, which was said by Rocky in Rocky Balboa:

‘It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward?’ That’s something I remind myself on a daily basis.”

 

 

 

 

Every Question You’ve Had About Multi-Day Walks… Answered! (At least we hope so!)

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Committing to walk for a whole weekend, even for a good cause, can be a daunting idea. You can do it, though! Since 2003, we have had more than 500,000 participants in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, and we have spent countless weekends together, walking 60 miles to find a cure for breast cancer. If you’re nervous about doing a multi-day walk, don’t be! You will have your 3-Day family walking alongside you, and supporting you every step of the way.

If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time to do it! We are offering $20 off your registration fee through February 5th, a fee of only $50 to start your 3-Day journey!

If you have any questions before you sign up, we have everything you need to know…

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How far do we walk on the 3-Day?

The 3-Day route covers approximately 15-22 miles each day for three days in a row, totaling approximately 60 miles. It’s the greatest distance you can go in the fight against breast cancer® .

If you are unable to keep walking at any point while you’re out on the route, we have support vehicles to transport you to the next pit stop, or ahead to camp, where you can rest and get medical attention if you need it. Your safety is always our first concern!

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Once I’ve signed up, how do I join or form a team?

If you haven’t registered as a participant for the 3-Day yet, you can register online (now for only $50!) and select “Start a Team” or “Join a Team”.

To start a team, create your team name and fundraising goal and you’ll be designated as the captain. To join a team, search for the name of the team you want to join and select it. Or call 800-996-3DAY to register and indicate that you would like to join a team. Let us know the team name, and your coach will be happy to get you started.

Or, register as an individual! Even if you’re not officially part of a team, no one is alone on the 3-Day. We have meeting points for Solo Walkers to join together, or you can join a team along the way!

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How will the 3-Day help me fundraise for the event?

Each 3-Day walker needs to raise $2,300 to participate in the event, with proceeds going towards breast cancer research, funding, support, and more.

We will support you in your fundraising process in many ways:

  • You will be assigned a personal 3-Day coach to advise you through your fundraising and training
  • Our Fundraising Handbook with our tried-and-true “3-Day Way” of fundraising
  • Info meetings and workshops, plus online webinars
  • An online Participant Center to track your efforts, send emails, and get all the info you need
  • The 3-Day Fundraise app for your iOS or Android smartphone
  • Posters, business cards, infographics and much more!

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How does Susan G. Komen utilize the contributions?

75% of the net proceeds raised by the 3-Day help Komen support the global research program and other mission objectives, while the remaining 25% helps Affiliates support local programs including medical assistance, patient navigation and provider education.

All monetary donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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Where do we spend the night on event?

Once you start your 3-Day journey, we take care of you for the whole weekend. After a long day’s journey, you’ll spend the night at the 3-Day camp with your fellow walkers and crew members. We provide you a two-person sleeping tent to share with another participant.* If you don’t wish to sleep at camp, we have information on hotels which include shuttles to and from camp.

Camp has different areas, including the dining tent, where you will eat dinner and breakfast, and shower trucks for washing up. There will be a “3-Day Lounge” for relaxation and socialization, a stage for nightly announcements and entertainment, and much more!

*This year, we have a new experience for Philadelphia! The Philadelphia 3-Day camp will take place entirely in hotels. Our host hotel for camp will still include meals, main street and participant lodging. This format will allow participants the same ceremony, community and camaraderie as usual on the 3-Day, or as our veterans call it, “The 3-Day Pink Bubble!”

Do I have to carry all my gear while I am walking?

Don’t worry, the 3-Day Crew will transport your gear for you to camp. You’ll just need to pick it up from the gear truck when you arrive at camp after walking. After your 60-mile journey, the crew will transport your gear to the Closing Ceremony location for you while you’re walking on Sunday. Easy peasy!

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If I can’t walk, how else can I be involved?

You can join the 3-Day crew! A crew member is a registered 3-Day participant who attends the event in a service capacity. Crew members do not walk the 60-mile route, but are onsite during the entire event performing a specific job. The crew is the backbone of the Komen 3-Day! Crew members are not required to fundraise, though we do encourage it and will support you in your fundraising efforts! We couldn’t make the 3-Day happen without the crew.

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If I can’t Crew, can I still volunteer?

Yes! Volunteers are needed to help with single-day commitments. It’s a way to stay flexible and still contribute your time, expertise and ideas to help make the 3-Day a success. From outreach and recruitment, to on-event roles and responsibilities, there is a volunteer opportunity to fit your schedule, skills and passions.

Click here to search for volunteer opportunities in your area.

We also welcome groups of volunteers for our street teams, local events and ceremonies. Please contact a 3-Day Crew & Volunteer Coordinator to learn more.

Where can I find information about the financial results of the 3-Day?

Visit Komen.org/AboutUs/FinancialInformation.html for Susan G. Komen’s financial reports. These shareable infographics will educate your donors, teammates, family and friends about how 3-Day funds are transformed into life-saving work.

Have any more questions about the 3-Day? Check out our FAQ’s page on the 3-Day website! Or reach out to us on social media. We’re here to help and answer all your questions!

Why We Walk: The Next Generation Takes on the 3-Day

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We love our participants of all ages, and every year a new crop of walkers joins the 3-Day family. Whether they come from up from the Youth Corps, are recruited by a current 3-Day walker, or join us after years of walker stalking, seeing the smile on a young walker’s face makes our Pink Bubble fill with so much love.

We talked to some of our younger participants who have become loyal 3-Day walkers in the last few years. They’re telling us why they walk now, and why they will continue to walk for years to come.

Sara Brothers

Sisters Sara B. Michigan 3-Day

“This journey started 12 years ago when I watched a 3-Day commercial. I was inspired to help change the world and give back to something that was meaningful. Three years after I started, my Nana, my best friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought for 10 months and lost her battle. So now, I walk in memory of my Nana. Every mile I walk, pain endured, and tear I cry is worth it because my Nana lost her life to breast cancer. Watching her fight that battle was one of the hardest things I have done. All the pain and suffering she endured is not something that people should have to go through. I know that every time I do this walk it will be meaningful because I will be walking in memory of her. She was my HERO and I owe it to her to fight to help find a cure! She influenced my life in many ways and helped shape the person I am today and I want her memory to live on.”

And Courtney B., Michigan 3-Day

“10 years ago when I signed up to walk, I thought I would be joining my sister on a fun filled weekend to raise money for a great charity. However, the walk quickly became so much more when our Nana was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Throughout her ten month journey, we learned so much about the wonderful things Susan G Komen® does… not only drug trials but through their local chapters. It was a no brainer for us to continue this journey. I continue to walk because over the past ten years, so much progress has been made in the world of breast cancer because of the money we raise and although my Nana wasn’t able to beat cancer, I know millions of others who are surviving daily.”

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Emily H., Michigan 3-Day

“I took my first steps on the 3-Day for my mother-in-law Lori. Her diagnosis is the reason breast cancer is a part of my life. But what started as her journey quickly became mine. I walk for my daughters, sisters, mother, and the ones that will come after us. Every story that was shared with me during my first 3-Day opened my eyes to the raw fact that cancer does not discriminate, not for race, age, size, family, or money. In a society that is filled with tiers of class (your age, your weight, your marital status, your job) breast cancer effects a little bit of all of us. By natural I am a maternal person. I am always looking to help those around me, and when I was introduced to the 3-Day I saw it as a way to help the people of the world I do not know. The ones that might not be a lucky as my family, who get to celebrate their survivor.

I take every step with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face because I know that with that step I become More Than Pink and am one step closer to helping a stranger celebrate their survivor.”

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Jesse (in his chicken costume) with his mom

Jesse K., Philadelphia 3-Day

“There are many reasons, but every time I walk the list of reasons continues to expand. I started participating in the walks with my mom Jane when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I did this to support my mother in the efforts to help eliminate breast cancer from people’s lives. As I walked with my mom each year I began to realize that we were not just walking to help fight breast cancer, but also for support. This support was something that helped my mom through her journey with breast cancer. This support for my mom came from deepening her friendship with established friends, meeting new friends and sharing stories and emotionally supporting each other through their journeys. These things were accomplished through the 3-Day walk and I don’t think there is another situation that could have facilitated such a supportive and understanding network of people. These people helped keep a smile on my mom’s face and passion to fight in her heart until breast cancer eventually took her life. Until my mom passed I didn’t fully appreciate this network of support.

While walking this past year for the first time after my mom had passed I did a lot of reflecting and realized that this support network of 3-Day friends was just as important to my journey as it was to my mom’s. I will continue to walk because every year I make new friends who help keep a smile on my face and passion in my heart despite the heartbreak I have experienced. These amazing people are also added to the list of reasons why I walk. I hope that I am as supportive and motivational for them as they are for me.”

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Kimberly C., Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day

“In 2012 I joined the Youth Corps when my mom first started walking. At the time, I joined for three people in my life.

I was named after my mom’s best friend, Kim, who passed away from breast cancer in 2000 at the age of 39. She lived just long enough to see me born. I don’t have any memories of her personally but her family has become an extension of mine. Her mother is like a grandmother to me and her children are like cousins. All the stories I’ve ever heard about her just highlight how amazing of a woman she was, and it just isn’t fair that she left us so soon.

I also joined because of my Aunt Kay. She also passed away from breast cancer and I never really got the chance to know her. I love it when my cousins share stories about her, and it just emphasizes the fact that yet another person was taken too early from this world.

At the time, I also joined the Youth Corps because of my Great Aunt Julia, who I called Dudu. Before I was born she had battled breast cancer and won, and had been in remission for almost 15 years. About two months before the 2012 Dallas/Fort Worth event, her breast cancer came back. To me, it was a sign that this event was a necessity.

For three years I was on the Dallas/Fort Worth Youth Corps, and in 2015 I finally walked my first walk. Sadly, about a month before the Dallas/Fort Worth event that year, my Great Aunt passed away. That gave me the drive to walk those 60 miles and never give up.

In 2016, my second and third grade teacher, Shawn, was diagnosed with breast cancer. In elementary school, she helped to mold the person that I am, and was quite possibly the best teacher I’ve ever had. Luckily, after a yearlong battle she is officially in remission. I wrote her letters every week to read during chemo and she has always been supportive of me on the 3-Day but now she says she is so thankful. I walk for her.

Since I started walking in 2015, I have walked five events in three cities, and will be walking my 6th and 7th, on my 9th and 10th event. I am 18 now and plan to keep walking until I don’t have a reason to any more.”

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Elizabeth G., Michigan 3-Day

“When I was eight, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t fully understand what was happening at the time, I just knew that she wasn’t home as much and had to go to the hospital for treatments. As she was going through her treatment plan, part of it changed as new research that was done at the University of Michigan, funded by Susan G. Komen, showed that she could have fewer chemotherapy treatments but it would still be effective. This meant that she could have 27 fewer chemotherapy infusions, and was able to be at home for 27 more days than she was supposed to. She finished her treatment plan, and has been considered cured for 11 years.

In 2010, a close family friend started a 3-Day team in my mom’s honor. We went up to Michigan to cheer her on, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing event. My mom joined the team the next year, but I couldn’t participate as I had to wait a few years more until I turned 16. The year I turned 16, I knew I wanted to walk, I did, and I was hooked. This year will be my 6th event, and I’m so excited. Someone walked for my mom, and now I’m able to walk for someone else. Knowing that the money I raise makes a difference is what keeps me going, and I’m so blessed that I can walk 60 miles with my mom by my side. I walk so that other kids are able to have their mom by their side for all the important events, like my mom can be.”

Are you joining us this year on the 3-Day? Tell us where in the comments!

If you haven’t registered yet, don’t forget to sign up before February 5th so you can get $20 off your registration fee at The3Day.org