Julie is captain of Team Girlapalooza in San Diego. She is a walking and fund raising rockstar! I can’t wait to meet her at the San Diego walk (four more weeks! eek!). I’m so happy she took the time to give us a glimpse into the life of a career 3 Day walker. She certainly embodies the Keep Going® Spirit!
Recently, I was asked why I participated in this event year after year. Here is my answer:
My mother is a breast cancer survivor who celebrates her 23rd year of survivorship this November. In 1987, a mammogram found five microcalcifications in her breast. Two of them were malignant. On November 9, 1987, she had a mastectomy, just 2 days after my wedding. In 2000, with the arrival of the new millennium, I decided I needed to find something to get involved in that would allow me to make a difference. Based on my mother’s experience, I knew it had to be something related to breast cancer. I’d participated in the Race for the Cure almost every year since it started, but was looking for something more challenging. In late January 2000, I saw an ad for the 3-Day in People Magazine. The ad intrigued me and I went to the website to learn more about the event. After reading all of the information on the site, I clicked REGISTER and filled in the registration form. My mouse hovered over SUBMIT for an hour or so as I talked myself into (or maybe tried to talk myself out of) doing the event. In my head, I was saying, “Walk 60 miles in a weekend – I can do that, I know how to walk”. Little did I know what walking 60 miles actually meant! “Raise $1800 before the walk – well, other than selling Girl Scout cookies as a youngster, I’ve never done any fundraising, but I think I can do that.” “Camping – unless it is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, this could be a show stopper!” But then, the OTHER voice inside my head said “If you cannot camp for 2 nights then what Mom went through means nothing!” so I clicked SUBMIT and registered.
Since 2000, I haven’t looked back. I’ve walked every year except 2001,when I was a member of the all volunteer crew. To date, I’ve raised over $115,000 all through personal letters to family, friends, and co-workers. This year I am walking in 2 walks – DC in October and San Diego in November. I’ve met wonderful people and made life long friends through the 3-Day. I’ve heard triumphant stories of victory over breast cancer and have been reduced to tears upon learning of a loved one lost to breast cancer. I’ve met young survivors, old survivors, and male survivors. I have been truly inspired and I will not stop participating in this event until the words “You have breast cancer” have been permanently eradicated from our vocabulary.