Meet Our 2017 Seven-City Walkers

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Our 2017 3-Day events are all complete, and what an amazing year it was! Our 6,600 walkers and crew raised an impressive $14.3 million towards Komen’s Bold Goal! Throughout our seven events, and many miles, there were some familiar faces in each city. We had eight seven-city walkers who were with us on every event, showing all of us just how More Than Pink they are. We are giving those walkers some 3-Day love, and sharing their stories of why they walk.

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Marilyn at far right with other Seven Cities Walkers (from left) Shelby, Kelly and Jim

You might have seen Marilyn signature pink flower crown throughout this year’s 3-Days. Why does she walk? Let’s hear it from her.

“I started this journey in 2000 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything went right — my doctor suspected something amiss; I got a mammogram; it was suspicious; I was scheduled immediately for biopsy; the result was cancer; I had a lumpectomy and then radiation and here I am 17 years later — a thriving survivor! Everything went right for me and that is why I walk.

I am compelled to raise money for breast cancer research as there are so many who did not — nor will not — have my experience. So many die. So many live with Stage 4 and never know when their next chemo will be their last. As a very healthy 71-year-old woman, I find it my duty to be of service in this manner. I was given a great healthy life — I want what I have for all! My first walk was in 2011 in Philadelphia and have walked nine walks thus far and raised over $25,000 — it just seems like a very natural thing to have walked all seven walks this year to bring the vision of hope to as many as I can.”

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Ellen has been an avid supporter of Susan G. Komen for over a decade! This year she was proud to walk once again.

“I walk with the Susan G. Komen family because I know people that have been diagnosed fought and won; fought and lost; that continue to fight and live with metastatic breast cancer. I walk with the Komen family because I know families who have had the financial burden of treatment lifted through monetary help from Susan G. Komen, for women who were able to receive a free mammogram because of Komen monies. Susan G. Komen has been in the forefront on educating the general public both in the US and internationally. The funds we raise go to supporting Komen’s efforts to fund research, help those going through breast cancer treatments, fund mammograms, and raise awareness and educate. And that research will bring cures.”

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Jeryl was a sunshiny addition to every mile she walked on the 3-Day! Sixty miles a weekend, in time for her 60th birthday!

“2017 marks my sixth-year walking! This month, I turn 60 and in celebration I took on the challenge of walking all seven cities! What better way to celebrate than walking 60 miles seven times in honor of fighters and survivors and in memory of the angels that this disease has taken way too soon. The seven cities will be my 9th-16th Susan G. Komen 3-Day events.”

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June at left with fellow Seven City Walker, Kelly

Jeryl walked many of her miles alongside her new friend, June. June walks in memory of her family member, and for all the names she lists on her 3-Day T-shirts.

“I believe in the 3-Day walk and all that it stands for. I have made some amazing memories, I have met new and wonderful friends and with every walk I do, I am contributing to a great cause.

I started walking with my grandchildren’s other grandmother’s name on a t-shirt, In Memory of Kaye Duncan. To date, I feature as many as 40 names on my shirt. I add names to my t-shirt every year and this year, I decided I wanted to do more. So, I participated in all seven cities!

The experience of walking in the 3-Day is one that I wholeheartedly enjoy. The event is inspiring, uplifting and spreads a lot of hope to all the families who have ever been effected by this awful disease.”

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Two other friends who walked together this year were Kelly and Shelby; the birthday girls! Kelly explained why they both walked this year.

“This year I celebrated a milestone birthday. I decided to do something BIG, not for myself, but for a cause I truly believe in. So, I signed up to walk all seven cities!

In 2003, I walked my first 3-Day event in Los Angeles. I did it as a personal challenge. I didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I trained, (not well enough), I fundraised, and I kissed my family goodbye for the weekend. At the time, I had no idea how my life would be affected by my experiences that weekend. I cried. I laughed. I met some amazing people. I became part of the 3-Day family, and I was hooked! […]

I can now list many family, friends and co-workers who are breast cancer survivors and some who were warriors. I walk for them. I walk for their loved ones. I walk for my loved ones. I walk because I can.”

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Shelby echoes those statements.

“This year I turn 40, so I’m celebrating my 40th birthday by doing something bigger than me. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and fundraising beyond what I thought possible to help someone else and see an end to breast cancer.

I am lucky to be sharing this experience with my friend Kelly, who is also celebrating a milestone birthday, this year we are — 40 & 50 Walking 60!”

Karen Kay caught the 3-Day bug back in 2003, and since then she has walked dozens of times, including being a 5-time 7-City Walker! She is proud of every step.

“In the past 13 years, I have walked in 54 walks. This year, I walked in all seven cities again (this will be my fifth year in a row walking in all seven cities). To walk 420 miles seems like the least I can do when so many others aren’t able to walk at all. I want to walk — to make a bold statement and presence — to put an end to breast cancer forever and to support those who are fighting this disease and those who have lost loved ones to this disease.”

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Our only male seven-city walker is Jim Hillman, who many walkers recognize on every event for his big smile, welcoming hugs, and all his picture-taking! He has walked 56 times and raised more than $150,000 for the 3-Day so far!

“Why do I walk? I believe the answer is clear. I walk because I want to see an end to breast cancer, and the devastation it causes. I walk because I don’t want my wife, my daughter, my sister, my nieces, my family and friends to deal with it… ever! To borrow from Susan G. Komen: ‘We walk because we must. We walk for the cure!’

Someday we will make one final walk, a walk of celebration that breast cancer has been defeated, a cure has been found. We will all walk together, with our sign saying, We walked for a cure! The cure has been found! I look forward to that day of celebration, the day breast cancer becomes past tense.”

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Christa Cannon also signed up to be one of our seven-city walkers this year, but sadly lost her battle to breast cancer before she could walk. We carried her in hearts, and with Smokey T Bear, through all our 2017 events. In addition, all our seven-cities walkers wore Christa’s name on their credentials on our final walk in San Diego this year. They walked in her honor.

When she signed up in early 2017, Christa has this to say about her 3-Day journey.

“I began my journey with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Chicago, August 2013. I was walking as a breast cancer survivor that year after having been diagnosed in June. I carry a banner with me each day that I walk with the name of loved ones lost to breast cancer.

Shortly after that Chicago 3-Day I was diagnosed with breast cancer again. It was the last thing I would have ever expected to hear from my doctor. More surgery, more chemotherapy and more blood transfusions followed. In early 2014 I was declared cancer free and I decided to walk in two 3-Days that year.

The cancer free feeling didn’t last long as I was again diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2014. Triple negative breast cancer is what I have and there is no known cure at this time. I am committed to finding a cure for breast cancer and I refuse to let this disease win.”

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Thank you to all our walkers, including this amazing group, for a phenomenal year. We can’t wait to have you all back in 2018 and for those of you who walk once or twice or more, we are a family and can’t wait to see you out there again next year! Register today!

Ways to Fit a Workout into a Busy Day

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Photo via Autumn Goodman

We are all busy people, thanks to work, side hustles, family and even a little fun now and then! However, our first 3-Day of 2017 is less than two months away, with the others not far behind. That means we need to make the most of these summer days with any training we can fit in. If you have a busy schedule ahead, use some of these tips to squeeze in a workout whenever you have a few spare minutes.

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Photo via Drazen Biljak

Start your day off right!

  • If you have trouble getting up early for a walk, wear your workout clothes to bed and get your sweat on as soon as you wake up. This also gives you an extra five minutes of sleep in the morning.
  • If you don’t have time for a full training walk, do 10 push-ups every morning as soon as you wake up. Or choose jumping-jacks, running in place or crunches! This is a small enough commitment for each day, but still a regular enough activity to make a difference. Over time, you can add more reps or more time.
  • Do squats while you brush your teeth or your hair.
  • While you’re doing your makeup, skin care regime or other morning bathroom routine, pause between each step and do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises. You can even keep a set of free weights in your bathroom so you don’t forget.
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Photo via Damian Zaleski

Make the office your gym

  • Start your day by sitting on astability ball instead of your usual desk chair to strengthen your core. You don’t have to sit on it all day, but even a few hours will make a difference!
  • Keepdumbbells by your desk so you can squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls and overhead presses throughout the day. You might just inspire your co-workers to do the same!
  • If you eat out on your lunch hour, or usually grab a mid-afternoon coffee, walk to the restaurant on a route that takes you a little bit out of your way.
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Photo via Bench Accounting

  • Do your own filing, copying, package pick-up or coffee-grabbing. Having an assistant or helpful co-workers is great, but they secretly derive the physical benefit of doing your busy work while you spend more time sitting still. Take any chance you can to get up and move from your desk!
  • Take calls standing up! If you spend a lot of time on the phone at work, use that time to get up and stretch your legs, or do some squats and lunges.
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Photo via Brooke Cagle

Get moving in the evening

  • If you have children who have a practice or lesson, walk around the block or the practice field during their appointment. You’ll save time driving to and from to pick them up, and get extra steps in at the same time.
  • If you must run errands like grocery shopping, you can still do lunges, toe raises, and squats at the checkout line. People might look at you like you’re silly, but who cares?
  • Dance like crazy! Loosen up after a long day at work by giving yourself 10 minutes of dance time when you get home. Grab the family, or your roommates, and put on your favorite tunes.
  • Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil or the oven to preheat. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.
  • Or, get out of the house and go on a fitness date! Set up a workout date with your significant other or invite your friends to try a new workout instead of hitting happy hour.
  • If you are catching up on your favorite shows, during commercials, jog in place or do jumping jacks. Make some space between the couch and the TV so you don’t miss anything while breaking a sweat.
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Photo via Lydia Harper

How do you fit training or working out into your daily life? Tell us the ways you get moving, and put a smile on your face, every day!

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.

Motivation Monday: What Walking Can Do for You

It’s a new week, and the first full week of a new month. We should be ready to jump out of bed and take on the day! That’s not always the case though, because Mondays can be hard. Luckily, we have another dose of Monday Motivation to jump start your weekly training for the 3-Day. One easy way to get moving is to remember all the benefits of walking—physical, mental and emotional. Here are some of the life-changing benefits of taking those extra steps:

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It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer: According to research conducted by Susan G. Komen®, women who get any regular exercise or physical activity have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who are inactive.

It helps curb a sweet tooth: One good move begets another! Once you get out and moving, you’ll probably also want to treat your body well on the inside. Try one of our smoothie recommendations after your walk to keep your health-kick moving.

It will get you outside: We’re right in the heart of winter, which means you are spending more time inside than in other times of year. Getting outside gives you Vitamin D from the sun, and also a nice bit of fresh air! Working out in the gym is good too, but if you can get outside, it will help you feel even more invigorated.

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It promotes heart health: Heart health is hugely important for your vitality, so getting out for a walk can help your health now and in the long run. Plus, February is Heart Health Month, so your walk is actually a celebration!

A little bit goes a long way: You don’t need to have an intense exercise routine to lower your risk of breast cancer. If you haven’t been doing much training yet, just getting up and getting moving will help you look good, feel good and kick start your training for future walks.

It keeps you social: Make a Friend Day is coming up on February 11th, so grab your teammates or other friends and lace up your walking shoes. It’s a great way to pencil in some catch-up time with someone you haven’t seen in a while or start a walking club with a group. Being around friends will always help put a smile on your face!

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It’s a mood booster: Any physical activity, walking included, can help with your overall mood and energy level. Guess that’s why they call it putting some pep in your step!

What other benefits do you get from walking, besides training for an excellent sixty miles, that is!?

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the 3-Day, is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.

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