Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure of Breast Cancer

60 Miles - I did that!
Really, WE did it!
I couldn't have done it without
my walkin
g partner, Lou :)
My Fundraising:
  • $2,303.68 raised! 100% of my goal! Thank you all so, so much!

  • If you planned to donate to this very worthy cause, but forgot or just haven't yet, you still have time! I don't need any additional donations, but my walking partner, Lou, does. I've changed the link below to go to her personal page ~ would you mind helping her reach her goal? I appreciate it :)
  • Please donate anytime before November 15th :)
  • Remember - all donations are considered a charitable tax deduction

Don't forget - your company might participate in Matching Gifts - just click HERE for more information.

2011 3-Day Walk Info:
  • Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure
  • Oct 21, 22 and 23
  • 20 miles each day, for a total of 60 miles

My 3 Day Experience:
Thank you so much for supporting me on this amazing journey. What an experience it's been ~ laughing, crying, hurting, feeling great, meeting survivors, meeting family members that are walking for loved ones, meeting men that have lost their wife, mother or sister or are fighting with them right now, and making new friends. I really think the quote at Opening Ceremony summed it up best, "We're here because they're not". Hearing that, while standing in a crowd of about 2,500 other walkers, all of us about to start a 3 Day, 60 mile journey, was so heart-wrenching. We are all there because of cancer ~ it has either taken someone special to us or is threatening to. It was the first of many tears to come.

Just to give you an idea of what it's like at the 3 Day, I've included some memories and lots and lots of pictures below. Plus a link to our Daily Route Cards that outlines pit stops, cheering stations and lunch for Days 1, 2 and 3, so that you can get an idea of what a day on the walk consists of ~ click here.

Day 1 Memories:

  • Writing my Grandma Dora's name on the banner that was raised during the opening ceremony.
  • Seeing all of the cute outfits that other walkers had on.
  • Starting the walk with numb toes.
  • I always love the motorcycle and bicycle crew - they work hard to keep us safe and entertained.
  • Running into Michelle, a girl that we've played tennis against. It's always nice to see a familiar face. I took the picture of them before I realized that we knew Michelle ~ I thought their princess hats that were made for toddlers were cute.
  • A small group of kids [late teens or very early 20s] that was walking behind us was singing, so I asked if they took requests [just kidding, of course] and they said "Sure, what do you want to hear?" so I said, "Boom Boom Pow" and they sang it!
  • Having a stranger pick me out of the crowd to say "Hi" at the end of a long day of walking. When we arrived at camp, this guy was trying to get my attention, but I assumed he was trying to get the attention of someone else. Then he said, "Are you Angie?" and I said, "Yes" and he said, "I'm Eric, Carol's son". Then it all came back to me, he was the son of one of my sweet customers. Her daughter, Kristina, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, so Eric volunteers with the Crew in support of his sister.
  • Meeting our tent neighbors from Connecticut, Stef and Laura - they were so nice and welcoming. Stef is a breast cancer survivor. They met 4 years ago at a 3 Day Walk and have been walking together every year since then.
  • Picking up our Sweet Treat gifts ~ it seems kind of silly, but it was a nice to have gifts to pick-up [from Mom & Dad and Sonia].
  • Sitting with a lady that's a survivor and doing her best to walk. She was only able to walk until lunch [just over 12 miles], the first day, but she was going to try to walk as much as she could the next 2 days.
Day 2 Memories:
  • Lots of hills and broken sidewalks.
  • There were a lot of injuries on the 2nd day. Luckily Lou and I did some of our longest training walks around downtown Atlanta, so we were prepared. A friend of a friend fell and broke her hand and had to have 5 stitches in her lip - Atlanta was her 5th 3 Day this year, so she's a very experienced walker and even she fell. I assumed when I heard that story on Sunday that she probably wasn't finishing the walk, but was completely surprised when she came through the finishing crowd - arm in a sling and with red swollen stitches across her lip - amazing!
  • Talking to a mom [a walker's aunt that was not walking, just visiting] at lunch that has lost several members of her family to breast cancer [including her daughter]. Plus, she was recently diagnosed and had just had a chemo treatment the day before, but wanted to come out and cheer her niece on.
  • Jeff bringing Allie and Emily to surprise me at the cheering station after lunch! She said she had to work all weekend so that I would think that she wasn't coming down :)
  • Coming back to camp to a Tent Decorating Contest Winner ribbon! It was so unexpected, we just wanted our tent decorated, we didn't even try to make anything that would win a contest.
  • Looking at the pictures, reading the notes and watching a young teenager write in a journal in the Remembrance Tent. This was so touching, so sad and so real. All of the women in the pictures were past walkers, but were taken recently by breast cancer. The hardest ones to look at were the ones that were young and had young children. I know no age is a good age, but that seems like the worst to me. It really makes you appreciate what you have - I didn't have to grow up without my mom.
  • Walking around camp taking pictures and meeting new people. We even ran into a couple of girls that we met during one of our training walks in Alpharetta.
  • Dance Party! I was shocked that I felt good enough to even consider going to the dance party on Saturday night, but I did and really enjoyed it!
Day 3 Memories:
  • We were given tattoos the day before from the Pirate Pit Stop, so while we were in line waiting to leave we applied them to our cheeks - very cute :)
  • Lunch was Margaritaville themed and they had these girls in big blow-up Hula Dancer outfits that were great! Plus, chalked sidewalk notes that said stuff like "It's 5:00 Somewhere" with a blow-up palm tree next to it.
  • This is the hardest one for me. There was this girl that was about 13 volunteering with the 3 Day Youth Corps, so she would pop-up all over the route in different areas on all 3 days. She was so cute, so nice and so cheerful ~ always with a huge smile and cheering all of us walkers on! On the last day at some point before lunch, I could hear her, but couldn't see her yet. I told Lou, "That's that little blonde girl cheering". Then I said, "Someone needs to tell her mom how much we appreciate her." So, we come around the bend and there she is, smiling and cheering like always. I see a lady off to the side, so I step over out of the walkers to ask if she's her mom and she says, "No, I just met her on Thursday". So, I said, "Someone needs to make sure her mom knows how much we all appreciate her." She looked at me and said, "Her mom had breast cancer and past away 3 years ago ~ that's why she does this". I touched the ladies arm and said how sorry I was [or at least did my best to get that out]. Then, turned and merged back in with the walkers and cried while I walked. What an amazing young girl. I'm sure her mom is smiling down on her and she knows how much her daughter is appreciated.
  • My mom, dad and Jeff coming down to see me finish and attend the closing ceremony. It was a long drive for Mom and Dad to make, so I really appreciate them taking the time to come down!
  • Coming home to flowers from my neighbors [Ellen, Emma, Ethan, Dani, Mike, Turner, Brooks, Allison, Scott, Anna and Maggie]! So very unexpected, so a very nice surprise!
I won't do the 3 Day again next year, but I hope to soon, so don't be surprised if you start getting e-mails from me again in about a year. The great thing is that there are so many ways to offer your support other than giving money! Here's a short list of alternatives ~ send me an encouraging text, card or letter; send a card or letter to the 3 Day so that I receive it at the "3 Day Post Office" while I'm at camp [I'll make sure to share those details next time!]; come to a cheering station; attend opening or closing ceremony; or forward my e-mails to others that you think might be able to support the cause.

Why I Walked:
I walked because everyone deserves a lifetime. I walked because I can. I walked in memory of my Grandmas, Dora and Beulah, my aunt Jennifer and Randi Passoff. My grandma Dora wasn't able to beat breast cancer and we lost her when I was in grade school. We lost my grandma Beulah and my aunt Jennifer to lung cancer. I miss them so much and wish they didn't have to go through what they did so early in life. Because of cancer they've all missed out on so many memories with our family that they would have enjoyed so much. I also walked for Randi Passoff, founder of the Atlanta 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer. I was lucky enough to meet her when I did the Atlanta 2-Day a couple of years ago while she was in remission, and she was so inspiring and courageous. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to beat breast cancer either and she passed away last fall.

I thought about them all while I was walking and considered how so many memories would be different if there would have been a cure for cancer when they were diagnosed. We can't change history, but let's work to find a cure so that we can change the future.

Pictures, pictures & more pictures!

Day 1 Opening Ceremony

It was nice that they gave us a way to recognize who we were walking for. I wrote Grandma Dora's name on the banner that they raised during the opening ceremony. Even though I was also walking for my grandma Beulah and my aunt Jennifer, I didn't feel right writing their name on the Breast Cancer banner, but I was thinking about them anyway.

Lou wrote Randi Passoff's, founder of the Atlanta 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer, name on the banner too ~ we were both walking for her.

The survivors on the stage raised the banner that had Grandma Dora and Randi Passoff's names on it [in the middle of this picture].

WARNING ~ Some pictures could be considered OFFENSIVE.
While the mission of this cause is to SAVE LIVES,
the fact that it involves BREASTS creates a lot of
BOOB related themes :)

Day 1

Me & Lou

Me & Lou

Some walkers carried banners.

This is the young girl that lost her mom 3 years ago - giving Lou a sticker and cheering for us. Look at that smile :)

Lunchtime stretching...

PortaKleen showers! Ever showered in a semi?

Lou brushing her teeth in the sink area that's right outside of the showers.

Me & Lou sporting our PJs, striped 3 Day toe socks and flip flops.

Me & Lou with our striped 3 Day toe socks and flip flops.

Sweet Treats from Mom & Dad and my friend Sonia! We ate them while we waited in line for our foot massage.

Some of the names on the tent from the inside ~ made it nice at night to look at the names and think about who we were walking for and who helped support us to get us there.

Day 2

Me & Lou ~ in line to leave the 2nd morning.

Emily & Allie ~ waiting to surprise me!

Pictures that Jeff & Allie took of the crowd at the cheering station while waiting for us to get there.

Pictures that Jeff & Allie took of the crowd at the cheering station while waiting for us to get there.

Pictures that Jeff & Allie took of the crowd at the cheering station while waiting for us to get there.

LOVE this ~ "Early Detection Inspections Station - Years of Hands-On Experience"!
Pictures that Jeff & Allie took of the crowd at the cheering station while waiting for us to get there.

Pictures that Jeff & Allie took of the crowd at the cheering station while waiting for us to get there.

Me & Lou

I look surprised, but I had a feeling Allie would be there, so I wasn't fully surprised :)

Emily, me, Allie & Lou

This is the only one caught in a picture, but I can't tell you how much hand slapping goes on ~ A LOT!

Me & Lou

Stretching in lobby while charging our phones.

Wow - what a contraption! All of these phones were just left here to charge by their trusting owners.

The Rememberance Tent - such a sad tent...

Tents from other states that are lined up on both sides of the Remembrance Tent that have notes written on them from loved ones.

Tent Decorating Contest
Hanging out in Camp

Me & Lou won a Tent Decorating Winner ribbon for our tent decorations!

We didn't even consider that we might win. I had seen pictures of elaborate tent decorations and didn't want to do that. I just wanted to make something simple. Everyone loved all the names all over the sides and back. Everyone that supported me & Lou were listed, everyone that we were walking In Memory Of, In Honor Of and In Support Of, the "Everyone Deserves a Lifetime" quote around the top and the "Because every one of us is someone's daughter...sister...mother...grandmother..." quote around the bottom.

The front.

The left side.

The right side.

The back.

Our tent and Stef & Laura's tent next door.

Day 3

Our tent neighbors, Laura & Stef

Lou & me while waiting in line to start or 3rd and last day of walking.

You can't see it very well in the picture above, but I have a super cute girly pirate flag tattoo on my cheek.

Look closely at the scarf the lady with the flag has on... :)

Some walkers carried banners.

How cute are these little girls? There were so many neighborhood cheering stations just like this one all along the route.

Some walkers carried banners.

Some walkers carried banners.

These boys drove around playing music and hanging out of their car cheering for us all day.

"Go Walkers!" ~ Look at these cute little cheerleaders!

Some walkers taking advantage of a fence and stop light to stretch.

Cheerleaders welcoming us into a pit stop.

This is another picture of the young girl that lost her mom 3 years ago. What a sweet girl.

Like a lot of these pictures, I took this while I was walking, so you can't read the button on his hat. It says "I'm walking for my wife". He's walking all alone and walking for her...

This pink fire truck is covered in notes and signatures!

This little boy had some balloons in his shirt - very cute!

This guy was in a couple places along the route on the 3rd day providing some much needed music.

It's hard to see, but the boy in the middle has on a bra and shorts!

Lots of Cute Outfit Ideas!

Crew Pics
these are some of the volunteers [and their motorcycles or bicycles] that keep us safe, entertained and fed during the 3 Day!

Finish and Closing Ceremony

Me & Lou

Me & Jeff

Me & Mom

Mom, me & Dad

The craziness of all the walkers while in our "holding area". We were cheering on walkers that were finishing and waiting for the closing ceremony.

Laura, Stef and Joe - Joe was one of the top fundraisers for the Atlanta 3 Day.

Stef and Laura

The Crew walking to Closing Ceremony

The Crew walking to Closing Ceremony

The Crew walking to Closing Ceremony

The Crew walking to Closing Ceremony

The Crew walking to Closing Ceremony

The first of the Walkers - headed to Closing Ceremony

Walkers - headed to Closing Ceremony

Walkers - headed to Closing Ceremony

Lou - on the right with her hand in the air to get Jeff's attention :)

Janie, me, Lou and Laura walking together to Closing Ceremony

A bunch of Pinked-Up bicycles.

Lou, Laura and Janie. Laura carried the "Futures" banner during Closing Ceremony.

Lou, Laura and me

The "Futures" banner that Laura was carrying.

I had already switched to my flip flops, so I didn't have my tennis shoe to raise :(

Flowers from my neighbors!

Thank you so much Ellen, Emma, Ethan, Dani, Mike, Turner, Brooks, Allison, Scott, Anna and Maggie!

I apologize for the sappiness of this post, but it's a pretty sappy experience...
Thank you again for your concern and support in my journey...until next time...


Thank you so much for all of your generous donations!