2023 will mark my 14th year of walking the 3 Day to raise money and awareness to fight breast and other cancers. The very first year I walked was the year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a thyroid cancer survivor and went through a lot, but still she cheered me on through training and at the walk itself. The second year, she was a crew member along with my sister Emily, and she loved every minute of being a part of something so special and so important. As the years went on, I walked this walk in celebration of my mom, my best friend, until 2012 when it became a way to honor her memory and her legacy of strength and courage.
In 2021 I lost my dad as well. He was a big supporter of me and my walks in honor of my mom, his wife, through his donations, his cheering stations, and his willingness to rescue my team when a random tornado warning blew through the Twin Cities several years ago. Now as I reflect on the reasons why I do this every year I am again reminded of so many women, men, mothers, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers, sons, sisters, friends who have lost a loved one or who have had to embark on this sad journey. This one small thing I can do to help so many others, and I think about the legacy I want to leave behind, the honor I am carrying out on behalf of my dear mother and her strength and courage which inspires me daily. Of my father, who is always cheering me on.
Team Boobilicious will be walking the Chicago 3 Day with our amazing community of friends we've met along the way. It's a place filled with love and support. There are many new friends I will meet along the way and many familiar faces to reconnect with during the journey. I am looking forward to rejoining my long-time freinds and teammates, mentoring new teammates and creating even more memories to carry with me throughout this life.
I know my mom would want me to keep walking this walk, fighting this fight against breast and other cancers. She would tell me not to give up and that I can achieve any goal I set my mind to. In fact, that was something she always used to say to my sister and me, to never give up and that we could achieve anything. That's why even though walking 60 miles in 3 days isn't easy I will do it because I CAN. I will walk for each and every person who wasn't able to fully realize their dreams and achieve their goals because this monster, cancer, got the best of them.
Please read my mom's story below and consider contributing to get me to my goal. Much of the work Komen does advances the fight against not only breast, but other cancers. I wouldn't walk this walk or support this organization if I didn't truly believe in the good work they do to fight this disease. The 3 Day is part of me and always will be. I can't imagine not being a part of the 3 Day family and I hope you will join me in support.
Jeanne d'Arc be by my side.
My mom, Jinny, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Papillary Thyroid cancer in October 2004. She had her thyroid and 30+ lymph nodes in her neck and breast bone removed. She received radioactive iodine therapy and was considered cancer free.
In August 2008, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive Lobular Breast cancer, found during a routine mammogram. She had a bi-lateral mastectomy to stop the disease from spreading to her healthy breast.
In October 2009, 2 weeks short of 5 years thyroid cancer free, enlarged lymph nodes were found in her neck and chest, confirmed to be Papillary Thyroid cancer.
In December 2010, a lung biopsy confirmed metastasis to her lungs and her cancer was upgraded to Stage 4.
At the Mayo Clinic, she tried a clinical study and two types of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, this disease was bigger than anything she could throw at it. Mom had so much hope, strength and courage even during her last days with us.
On May 31, 2012, mom soared up on eagles wings to watch over and protect us, 2 days before my wedding. I know I had my own guardian angel watching over my special day. I love you, mom!!