2010 Breast Cancer 3 Day: I Made My Goal! {Hanes Pink Giveaway}

Friday, November 19, 2010

**Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Jennifer!**

By the time you read this I'll have been walking for several hours in my second breast cancer 3 day. I'll be with my mom, the new friends I've met through the message boards and 3,798 other people united in finding a cure for breast cancer.

My Facebook friends might remember me asking for positive thoughts a few weeks ago. I wrote an essay on why the 3 Day is important to me and sent it in to Toe Sox. They are a local company with a team who will be walking too. They posted a $500 scholarship contest on the 3 Day message boards. The winner would have the money posted into their 3 Day account to help with fundraising.

I decided to enter at the last minute. I honestly didn't think I had much of a chance. My inner voice told me there would be so many touching stories submitted from people who had lost someone and that their reasons for walking were so much more personal and real than mine. But fundraising was so hard this year I figured there was no harm in trying. This is my submission:

This year is my mom's 10th breast cancer 3 day walk. I'm so happy I get to share it with her. She's the reason I got involved with the 3 Day. I've been her Pink Pitt Crew since the 3 Day moved down to San Diego. For years I spent the entire weekend following her through the route. I'd spend the day cheering for the walkers, passing out stickers, mints or baby wipes and I'd run to the store if Mom needed BenGay or hairspray. When my son was old enough I started taking him with me. We've had a blast! He knows what the 3 Day is and why the cause is important to us.

Mom and I see some of the same people and teams year after year. Team I Hope You Dance walks for Cindy who died in 2000. And there's a woman who always wears a pink bra on her head and carries a neon pink sign that reads, "my sister says thank you." One man, The Smile Guy, lost his wife to breast cancer. He's been bringing his daughter, Little Grin, to the walk to hand out buttons since she was in an infant car seat. It's been bittersweet watching her grow. Year after year these people walk or cheer because they've been touched by breast cancer.
2008 and 2009 walks
After a few years of cheering I decided I wanted to be more involved. I volunteered for the 2008 3 Day and was lucky enough to work the closing ceremonies. I showed up in my pink pants, feather boa and wig ready to help wherever I was needed. I got a choice assignment: I'd be handing out the pink roses and T-shirts to the walkers as they took their last steps of 60 miles. I spent the day cheering, laughing, hugging, taking pictures and crying. And crying.
2008 San Diego walk
One team of eight walkers moved through the tunnel. Five women picked up their white walker shirts and waited across the finish line for another woman and a man I assumed to be her husband. She picked up her pink survivor shirt and pulled it on to the cheers of her team. She raised her arms and tilted her face to the sky, laughing and smiling. But in an instant, she did a complete 180 and broke down, sobbing. The man wrapped his arms around her and then the rest of the team made a circle around them. All of them were in tears. It's a moment I'll never forget and I cry when I tell people about it.

That moment, watching her and imaging the hell she must have gone through to get there, was the reason I decided to do my first walk in 2009. During that walk, I saw a young girl of about 8 holding a sign that read, "I never knew my Grandma and she never knew me." I took a picture of her and it's stayed with me. I think that message is why I decided to walk again this November.

I'll be walking the 2010 3 Day for the survivors, the fighters and the angels. I'll walk for my Godmother, Margie who died in 2005. I'll walk for my best friend Debbie's mother who died in 1997. I'll walk for the woman I heard in a radio interview last week who needs grants from Komen to afford the $8400 monthly prescription for the drugs that are keeping her alive. I'll walk because I have my breasts and they are healthy. I'll walk to continue showing my son what it means to do something bigger than ourselves.

Breast cancer is a monster. It's attacking mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, cousins, best friends and even husbands and fathers. The money we walkers raise is needed. It funds research, mammograms, grants and education. Without that money, the monster will thrive. I walk to slay the monster. I walk because I can.

I'm so glad I ignored my doubts and sent in an essay because I won! I got the email and literally screamed. Talk about a huge weight lifted. I was worried I would have to back out. I'm so happy and grateful to have made my goal and not had to stress about it these last few weeks that I decided to have a 'thank you' giveaway.

I really do appreciate all the support and donations. I would not be able to walk without all of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Now for the giveaway. For one winner, Hanes has given me two of their Hanes Pink Collection shirts designed by actress Melina Kanakaredes and a $50 gift card to Hanes.com. 

Strength and Hope T's by Melina Kanakaredes

I've received a few pairs of Hanes socks at Blissdom and BlogHer and they are some of the most comfortable I've ever worn.

How do you win? Easy:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me how breast cancer has touched you, if you learned anything new during breast cancer awareness month or if you've had a mammogram ('enter me!' and 'I want to win!' aren't gonna cut it). This is required.

2. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! I will have to delete comments with no contact info.

3. I'll leave this up for awhile since I won't be home for a few days. Comments will close on Tuesday, November 23rd at 11:59pm CA time.

4. I will use random.org to draw the winner and post the results/notify winners via email and Twitter.

5. For two extra entries: (not required) Tweet, and/or blog about this contest and leave each of your links in a separate comment (three contest entry opportunities total). You will need a free Twitter account.

6. If the notified winner has not responded within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

7. You do not have to follow or subscribe to this blog as a method of entry (but you're more than welcome to!). Tweet as often as you like, but only one Tweet will count as an extra entry. Leave one comment for each entry. Here is the URL to this post: http://bit.ly/HanesPinkGiveaway

8. The shirts will be mailed by the agency for Hanes and I will send the gift card. The gift card expires on December 31, 2010!!
Thank you to Hanes for supplying the giveaway items! Good luck!


  1. I'm so proud of you for meeting your goal! You do so much to raise awareness for breast cancer and I think it's awesome! That little girl's sign just made me want to cry.

    I haven't had a mammogram yet, but I know I need to. My great aunt is a breast cancer survivor, so our family is no stranger to this. I pray that I will live long enough to see a cure for all cancer.

  2. CONGRATS!! That's a fantastic essay! Oh, how I do remember the Smile Guy & Little Grin! I walked in 2002, 2003 & 2005. I had to stop due to the fear of not meeting the fund raising goal (my friends were getting a little drained of me asking!) and due to lack of training time as my son got older & active in sports teams. However, I go out every year and cheer on the walkers. I vow to participate again. It's Friday morning as I write this and I will be heading out from my office building at the top of Torrey Pines rd to cheer you guys on as you reach the top of that hill. BE STRONG!
    Mammograms? heck yeah - every year since I was 35. Also had a few pre-cancerous nasty cells removed back in 2006.
    You know how reach me :-) twitter/cln0103 & my blog which has email on it.


  3. Breast cancer has never affected me personally, until I started to read your blog and see your dedication and ivolvement in the 3 day walk. You made it real for me. And oh my gosh, what an amazing essay you wrote! I hope I continue to never know this cancer personally and that it spares those that are dear to me, but I'll always be glad that I'm aware of it and that I can help.

  4. My grandma died of some fairly mild form of breast cancer which probably would have been treatable, except she refused conventional treatment and did all sorts of crazy natural stuff. To the crazy natural stuff's credit she lived for quite a while with cancer - like 6 or 8 years if I remember correctly. It was her life, but it wasn't easy for the family to accept. captain_lisaadATyahooDOTcom

  5. I think the main thing about breast cancer is that I have to be paying attention to any changes in my breasts. I am concerned that they don't want to do the same kinds of exams that they used to. I hope that recommendation changes.

  6. I cried just reading this post. I'm so proud of you for walking, for not giving up on your efforts to raise money and for sharing this experience with your son who will no doubt be a better man for it.

    Breast cancer has indeed touched my life. My aunt (my mom's sister) was diagnosed several years ago and really brought a first hand awareness to how many lives it does affect. She's recovered and we're lucky to have her here still but it's a daily battle that never ends.

    My son's art teacher was also diagnosed several years ago. She and I are the same age and her son is the same age as mine and, once again, it reminded me how precious life is and to appreciate the moments we have with each other.

    I'm not entering this to win, necessarily, but to show my support to you and to all the people you mentioned in your touching post.

    aka @Hip_m0M

  7. I don't know a single soul who has not been touched by cancer itself.

    I am a uterine cancer survivor for almost 5 years!

    A high school friend of mine ran the 3 day too. I don't know how you do it-60 miles is crazy. I applaud you. And as she said - blisters are nothing compared to chemo.
    vistamommy(at)yahhoo (dot)com

  8. Melanie, I am so impressed with your dedication to this cause! Walking 60 miles is no small feat (pardon the pun) under any circumstances, but the weather this past weekend was down right nasty and you still completed your goal! I bow to you!

    I know many wonderful women who have done battle with breast cancer. The majority survived, a few, sadly didn't. I am fortunate that I don't have a family history, but I still get a yearly mammogram--due for my third one next month.

    Thank you for posting this and for sharing your journey!

  9. Thank you for your sacrifice again this year, Melanie! You are an example for us bloggers to follow. Enjoy your time off and get a nice foot massage. You earned it!

  10. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. I had planned to walk in 2009, until I had my back surgery. I hope to be well enough in 2011 to walk and since I don't know anyone.....well, Mel I guess I am going to have to stalk you and walk with you!

    I am proud to call you friend...although you did just make me cry at work.


  11. I always thought of breast cancer as something that happens to "other people"...until my aunt got it. She's doing okay now but it was a really difficult struggle. Thank you for spreading awareness and for everything you do. Your essay made ME cry at work too!

  12. My aunt died of breast cancer when she was only 51 years old. You can read about it here: http://redlotusmama.blogspot.com/2009/07/in-memory-of-my-aunt.html. Breast cancer is part of my family health history, so made it a point to have my baseline mammogram conducted: http://redlotusmama.blogspot.com/2010/10/baseline.html.

    I am so proud of you for doing the walk! it is a huge accomplishment.

    If I win you can contact me at redlotusmama@gmail.com.

  13. I was thinking of you when it was raining. Congrats on finishing this years' walk. My step-MIL has had her breasts removed from having breast cancer. It is scary to think that I know people that have gone through the process. You can find me on twitter at @jenboydsd. Have a great day!

  14. So glad the rain didn't stop everyone from walking for such an important cause. My aunt had breast cancer and is now in remission after two years. She had both breasts removed and went through reconstructive surgery. It's scary and makes you realize what's really important in life. I had to have a mammogram at 22 -- scared the crap out of me. Luckily it was nothing. You can find me @EverydayMama...plus I know how to find you :)

  15. I am so bummed I didn't get to meet you lady! 2011 for sure. <3 You (probably) already know that this is the 20th anniversary of my grandma's death. So yeah, it hits me pretty hard every year. I'm walk through torrential rain again and again for this. :)

    @kaaaaacie :):)

  16. What a touching story. A family friend of mine went through breast cancer and recently reconstructive surgery. The strength I see from people like her is an inspiration.


  17. The main reason I do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is to honor of my mother, Maureen Corcoran, a breast cancer survivor. During my final years in high school, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I really had no idea how what was in store for her. When she started with her radiation treatments, it appeared to be just another routine trip to the doctor’s office, unbeknownst to me that this was just the beginning her of war with the disease.

    It wasn’t until Chemo began where I really started to see the havoc that this menace really causes to the person. My mother’s energy levels were at an all time low, food, when desired, wouldn’t stay down, tears filled her eyes each and every day as she realized that even the simplest things in life were now monumental tasks. I am sure negative thoughts constantly barraged her mind; however, she was/is a warrior and always kept a positive attitude, never letting the anguish show to her friends and family. I love you Mom, you have always been a hero in my eyes and I’m glad that I have a chance to tell you that.

    I hold very fond memories of her trying on wigs after her long raven hair fell out and laughing alongside her as she decided that she wasn’t going to hide her condition under a wig. She went bald for the remainder of her treatments, standing tall and proud. I think she enjoyed it so much, that even after she won her battle, she decided to keep her hair short. Although I’m sure it was for convenience sake, I know it also acted as a daily reminder of the battle she just won. She has a heart of gold and has reached out to other women to aid them through their battles.

    I’m a blessed one, my mother is still around and able to play with her grandchildren.

  18. Retweeted for an extra entry (I don't have a lot of pink gear lol).


  19. SO PROUD OF YOU. Second year in a row!

    Well as you know, my mom passed away from breast cancer in 1997 and I miss her all the time, especially this time of year.

    Also...don't know if I ever told you this, but three of my four aunts on my dad's side all passed away young from breast cancer.

    Everyone knows someone, I know, and we can all relate and empathize with each other. And support each other -- like you do when you walk.

    Thanks, Mel!

  20. My mom had breast cancer 20 years ago, when I was a senior in college. It changed more about her body than just her silhouette and a part of me is always just waiting until it's my turn even though she always tells me not to worry, it was just a fluke, it won't get me. My mom is one tough cookie and she's perfectly fine now but breast cancer really fucked with her and I hate that.

  21. I tweeted, too. I'm @Kizzbeth on the Twitter. Hope your walk was fabulous!

  22. Thanks to all of you for entering and sharing your stories!

  23. Congratulations on winning and kudos to you for being such an inspiration!

    Winks & Smiles,

  24. Congratulations on great victory!



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