In January 2003 I received a phone call from my parents that changed my life forever - I learned that my Mom, who was in her early 50s, had stage 3 breast cancer. At the time I had a 2 year old daughter and was 6 months pregnant with my second child. My Mom's mortality was something I had never really thought about. She had always been healthy and there for me whenever I needed her, from childhood through early adulthood through starting a family of my own. I couldn't imagine my world without her in it. But there I was facing the reality that my Mom was very sick, and all of the sudden breast cancer was more than a terrible disease that affected other people's lives... it was threatening to take my Mom from me and my children's Grandmother from them. Later that year I was online researching a treatment my Mom was undergoing and saw an online advertisement for the 3-Day, a 60 mile fundraising walk that takes place over 3 days. I was terrified at the prospect of doing something so different from anything I'd done before (I had never even participated in a 5K fundraising walk!), but I was also very intrigued; I quickly came to believe in my heart that something positive was supposed to come out of my family's experience. I walked my first 3-Day in 2004, having by that time watched my Mom endure a unilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and another unilateral mastectomy. My brave Mom celebrates 15 years cancer free this year.
Since 2004 I've walked 10 3-Days in cities including Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Minneapolis, and raised more than $30,000 to fund breast cancer research and education. I've made amazing friends and had many amazing experiences along the way. I've had the opportunity to include two of my children in this inspirational adventure through participation on the Youth Corps - Kylie in Tampa Bay in 2013 and Minneapolis in 2014, and Blake in San Diego in 2016. This September Blake and I are headed to Philadelphia for my 11th walk and his second stint on the Youth Corps. Combined, Blake and I need to raise at least $2800 to participate in the event. Please support me as I continue my journey to impact the fight against breast cancer!