Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Talk to me Tuesday (Melanie Sheridan)

Oh my gosh. So, apparently, if you walk the whole 60 miles, your feet might get a little swollen. Or a lot swollen. So swollen, in fact, that you can't put on anything but flip flops for a week! I guess that was the upside to not being able to do all of the miles last year, huh?

And speaking of not being able to do all 60 miles: Hey, Philly - YOU ROCK! You all couldn't do the whole route, but man did you show some brotherly love! Congratulations!

Anyway, now that I am thourogly recovered from the walk (well enough to get a pedicure soon) it's time to feature another 3-day-er! This time we get to hear from Melanie Sheridan. Melanie is a fellow 3-day online ambassador, posting at her fantastic blog: Mel, A Dramatic Mommy.
Last year, Melanie volunteered during the walk, while her mother was a walker. This year, she is joining her mom, a 9-time participant, to walk in the San Diego 3-day.

Q1: Why did you join the 3-day?

Melanie says:
My mom decided to do the 3-Day back in 2000. I thought she was crazy! But, as she became more involved, so did I. I've spent the last few years cheering her on all weekend long. Last year, I volunteered and got to hand out the T-shirts and roses as the walkers crossed the finish line. It was amazing! Now that I'm a stay at home mom, I decided this was my year to move from the sidelines to participant.

Every year that I've cheered and supported the walkers, I've seen so many people walking in honor of someone they've lost. I see families on the sidelines holding signs that read, "thank you." This year I decided I wanted to do more than cheer. I literally wanted to walk the walk.

This is a cause that has become very important to me, especially after losing my Godmother to breast cancer.

Melanie, cheering on the walkers!

Q2: Will you describe some of you 3-day experience for us?

Melanie says:
Last year, when I volunteered, there were so many touching moments. I remember when one team crossed the finish they all waited for one woman to get her pink survivor shirt and cheered for her as she held it up. One minute she was high-fiving and laughing, the next she was sobbing and everyone gathered in a group hug. I also remember one woman taking some of the candy and gum I was handing out. Because of the way she was dressed, I thought she was someoneon the walk route, taking advantage of all the free stuff. I wondered if she was homeless. The next day, as I handed out shirts, they announced that the last walker was headed in. It was her.

My mom says for her, the walk is like a religious experience. Being there, feeling the energy, I can see her point. I laugh and cry every single year. I definitely think the walk is something everyone should experience, either as a walker, crew or volunteer.

Melanie and her mom, in front of the remembrance tents.

Q3: How have you contributed to the cause?

Melanie says:
I’ve made it a point to take my son with me when I’ve been cheering. He knows a little about what breast cancer is and why people are walking. Spending that time with him has been amazing. He’s learning empathy, the spirit of giving and giving back to the community.

Melanie's son passing out goodies for walkers - so cute!

Q4: What is your best training advice?

Melanie says:
Don’t push yourself. Follow the training guidelines but realize they’re only a suggestion. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t follow it to the letter.

Q5: What is your best fundraising advice?

Melanie says:
Be a pest! I don’t like to ask for help so I haven’t been as vocal about the fundraising as I should be. This isn’t about me. Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask everyone for donations.

Alright, folks - do Melanie a favor, as a thanks for her 3-day posts, and give the lady a donation! Any little bit helps, I'm sure she would love your help so that she can, as she says, "Walk the Walk!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DC 3-Day Top 10!

Here is my Washington, DC 2009 3-Day top ten "Things I'm Thankful For" list!

10. I'm thankful for these bright pink balloons that introduce you to the 3-day spirit at Opening Ceremonies. I definitely heeded the advice and took my time while savoring the experience.

9. I'm thankful the bright pink tent protected us from the wind and the rain. (We'll work on the cold next year!)

8. I'm thankful for friends who not only cheer me on, but stand in the rain on a Bethesda street corner to cheer on all the other walkers too! (The other side of my Meghan's sign had a more generic thank you to all walkers. And her and her husband, Gabe, cheered for you in pink!)

7. I'm so thankful for new friends (like Amy) who can, literally, pull you through! Ms. Ohio from Ms. America's Tata's really helped me get to the finish.

6. I'm thankful for all the love. For the people showing other people - almost strangers - that they care. It renews your faith in mankind.

5. I'm thankful for opening and closing ceremonies. They are incredibly inspiring and bookend all that 3-Day goodness in the perfect way.

4. I'm thankful for survivors. They give you courage and motivation and determination when you thought you had none left. (In case you didn't know, at closing we all lift one shoe to salute the survivors who did the hard work and participated in this event with us.)


3. I'm thankful for DC! These were only two shots at closing of the Lincoln and the Washington Monument - we had tons of other fantastic views. The Capital building, the Potomac River, The White House - all of it was great!


2. I'm thankful for crew! It helps you forget about your aching bones and painful blisters when you see a man in a kilt dancing on a motorcycle, or a girl with a cone on her head, or a man cheering to save second base. Yes, it really really helps!

I'm thankful I'm done! Okay, okay, I'm only kidding.

My real #1 is thanks to all of you. My supporters and donators. I couldn't have made it without you! DC raised over 5.5 million to fight breast cancer - and you were a huge part of that. (And a big shout out to my family who were invaluable in my 3-day pursuit. I love you all!)

See you next year! 2010, baby!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Talk To Me Tuesday (Alverna Bresette)

I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself! The DC walk - MY walk - is this weekend!!! I am in the midst of packing and worrying and gearing up, and I just can't wait. I have to thank so many of you - family, friends, and well-wishers - for helping me get to my goal!

Meanwhile, there are plenty of walkers - just like my 3-day friend, Alverna Bresette - who need your help to make it to goal. These walkers desperatly want to participate in their walks in the coming weeks, but they need your help. Please read Alverna's interview, and look her up on the 3-day website if you can help!

Q1: What is your connection to Breast Cancer?

Alverna says:
I am a 6 year survivor. My cancer was found early and was very small. Neither I, nor the doctors, could feel it. I was fortunate and luck was on my side. Through this experience I have talked people into having mammograms, just to be safe. Hopefully, I have gotten across to my daughter to fight for something you believe in.

I just recently found out my grandmother had died of breast cancer in 1940. My cousin was diagnosed last year, and I have lost friends to the disease.

Q2: Tell us about your 3-day experience.

Alverna says:
I was a walker in San Diego '06, San Diego '07, Washington DC '08, and will walk in San Diego '09. I think the first year was exciting, maybe because it was new. That year, my daughter and I had both seen it advertised, then discussed it, and decided it would be a great contribution to the cause. The support was unbelievable. I was amazed at the people gathered to cheer you on while you were walking. The 3Day family itself is hard to beat, crew, fellow walkers, support, etc. Always a kind word.

Alverna and her daughter, all dressed in pink!

Q3: What have you learned from the 3-day and why do you keep coming back?

Alverna says:
I've learned a lot. How many people have been affected by this disease. How much can be raised if everyone puts forth some effort in something they believe in. How I can really do something if I set my mind to it. A personal satisfaction, that I did it! To me the 3Day is addictive...I walk because I can. Each person, in their heart, knows what it is that they want to do for something. If this is what you believe in, then by all means, do it.

Alverna and her beautiful training buddies!

Q4: What is your best fundraising and/or training advice?

Alverna says:
For fundraising, put your heart into it and don't be afraid to ask. All they can say is no.

For training, I want to give credit to my husband and my 2 Black Russian Terriers. Without them I would not have the will power to get out and train. I mostly walk as I am out in a very small community in a National Forest. My husband knows just the right amount to "push" me...come on, you can do it. And of course the dogs are always up to the task!

Alverna supports fellow walkers (she supported me last year and this year) and I would love it if you all could pay her back the favor! She is a survivor, to be sure. Thank you, Alverna.

To the rest of my fellow DC walkers - LETS DO THIS!!!

PS - make sure you check out the giveaway if you haven't yet! Just for spreading breast cancer awareness this month, we are giving away 5 pink goodie-filled packages!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hey, you! There is a giveaway at the end of this post! Keep reading!

One in Eight women will get breast cancer sometime in their lifetime.
***1 in 8***
Isn't that ridiculous? Can you pick one of eight of the women you know to get it? Do you already know several ones who do? It needs to stop.

Every day we are getting closer to a cure. Now is a perfect time to lend your support to this cause! And if you do, there might be something in it (other than karma, and that gooey feeling you get inside when you do something awesome) for you. Keep reading....

Need an idea?
  • Go to Ask.com and make a pink ribbon tribute to a loved one.
  • Go to Yahoo.com and click on the pink ribbon. There you can update your pink ribbon status. For each person that does so in October, Yahoo! will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help uninsured women get free mammograms.
  • Go to the www.breastcancer.org or to www.komen.org or to www.nationalbreastcancer.org to learn about the disease and empower your self or those around you. Learn your risks and how to minimize them.
  • Remind the people in your life to check themselves. Update your facebook status, send a tweet, call, text, or email - just tell them to feel their boobies!
  • Go shopping! You will be hard pressed to go into the grocery store and not find a product that has a pink ribbon on it. In some cases, a portion of your purchasing money will go to the cause, in others the company has already donated a set amount. Either way, these companies are spreading the word - lend them their support to show you appreciate it!
  • Find a 3-day walker (like me) to get to goal! Not only are you helping find a cure, but your making someone's day!
  • Have a high risk of breast cancer in your family? Be proactive - be Bright Pink.
  • If you can't lend your money - lend your time. Find out where the closest 3-day walk is and go cheer those brave people on! Make a sign to hang on the route. Get in a costume. Pass out candy or popsicles. We will love you for it! (And if you can't do it now, there is always time to do it later in the year during another walk for the cure or a race for the cure.)
  • Any time of the year you can go to your local Komen Affiliate to help spread the word in your community.
  • Just make a click of your mouse at Care2 to help find a cure.
  • Like to ride a bike? Join the Hershey's Tour De Pink to raise funds for breast cancer while your working out.
  • Become a member of the Army of Women and partner with researchers to help move breast cancer beyond the cure.
  • Go to the Health Key to find a host of other breast cancer fighting opportunities.
  • Eat chocolate - M&M's can cure just about anything, right?
So pick something - anything related to raising awareness, and do it. Now would be great, but I'll give you until the end of October since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To spice it up a little, I'm turning this into a contest. Do anything to support breast cancer awareness and leave a comment below. At the end of October, I will check back and pick 5 of my favorite posts to give a token of my appreciation - a little pink ribbon package full of pink goodies!

So get to curing people!

Edit: I decided to add other opportunities when then are pointed out to me...
  • Belong to twitter? Help @FFanatics Tackle Breast Cancer just by following them! Learn How here.
  • Become a jumper at Spirit Jump and send a note to someone battling cancer.
  • Write a blog post or visit another! Here is the info for the How Do YOU Pink blog hop!

    MckLinky Blog Hop

Remember any contribution will be in the running for the prize - you just have to comment!