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The Fight is Far From Over

5 Dec

Last week the Governor announced that they would be burying a a 375th anniversary time capsule filled with items that tell the story of Hartford and Connecticut in 2010. Among the items is a 2010 Race for the Cure t-shirt and the question, “Have you found a cure for cancer yet?” for those who unearth it at the 400th anniversary. Who doesn’t want to see the cure found within their lifetime? At 25 years old, there’s a good chance it could happen during mine.

But then, sometimes something happens and I take a step back and wonder exactly how far we’ve come. A few weeks ago I was working the Komen table at a school fair where teachers were coming to get their flu shot and could also pick up information for teacher credit unions and that sort of thing. All afternoon I chatted with people and heard their personal stories of breast cancer in their family and sympathized over the loss of a loved one or celebrated a survival. Not many men stopped by the table, but there also weren’t many men attending the fair. Towards the end of the day, two men wandered in and stopped at a couple of tables and then stopped in front of mine. One of them started picking up a brochure while saying “For my wife…” somewhat sheepishly. I quietly directed him to the pamphlet entitled “Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too” and reminded him (or so I thought I was doing) that he should pick it up for himself, since men can also get breast cancer. He paused, looking confused, and said, “Really? I didn’t know men could get breast cancer.” This is something I have to constantly remind myself is not common knowledge. For so many years breast cancer was considered a woman’s cancer, why would this man have any reason to think otherwise if breast cancer had never touched his life before? So while I was happy to have given him that knowledge, and hopefully he took that home and remembered it, I have to remember that there are so many people out there, women and men, who haven’t been educated on the facts of breast cancer.

So our work is far from over. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, and yet sometimes I have to remind myself of it. The energy at a 3-Day Closing Ceremony when they tell us we’ve raised $5.5 million sometimes makes me feel as though we must be so close. And maybe we are. But we can’t stop pushing and walking and fund raising and educating with 110% of what we have until the cures are found.

Join Team Twitter ATL in October 2011 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure!

Donate to my 2011 Atlanta 3-Day walk.

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Atlanta 2011!

8 Aug

The people have spoken and it looks like I’ll be traveling to Atlanta, GA for the 2011 3-Day for the Cure! I’m really excited because we’ve formed Team Twitter ATL! If you’d like to join us in Atlanta in 2011, contact me or Jay or Twitter and we’ll give you the team password! I’m really looking forward to getting to know my teammates from around the country and support each other through fundraising and training! So far Team Twitter ATL is Jay, me and Lauren Yarmer!

It feels a bit odd to have already signed up for a 3-Day for 2011 when I’ve only just finished my 2010 walk and the season has barely begun, but that doesn’t make me any less excited! I hope you’ll join us! I’m already planning my fundraisers and I’m wondering how early is too early to start fundraising… I got so many great ideas from everyone this year on Twitter and I can’t wait to get them going! Definitely going to have a yard sale in the spring, and do some fundraising in front of a local store. I’m also going to try and get some of my teacher friends involved and get their kids to do penny wars, it seems like so much fun!

I’ve also been inspired to get way more involved this year with the pre-3-Day activities. I’ve never attended a Get Started meeting or done a training walk with others, but this year I’m going to! I really haven’t experienced everything the 3-Day has to offer but I want to get to know the other walkers and get as much out of the experience as possible. I had such a great time in Boston walking by myself and getting to know others that I want to keep it going!

Can you tell I’m excited!?

3-Day for the Cure 2011 – You decide!

31 Jul

Because you all were so amazing to me this year during the Boston 3-Day for the Cure with your comments and tweets, I thought it would be a good idea to as YOU where I should register for the 2011 3-Day walk! You only get to vote once, so make it good! I’ve already done DC and Boston, so those aren’t in the choices. And in the comments, tell me WHY you voted for that particular city!

And while you’re thinking about it, make sure you check out Tésa Nicolanti who is currently walking the 3-Day for the Cure in Cleveland as the Energizer Keep Going Blogger! She’s also on Twitter, @2wired2tired. Send her encouragement!

Discoveries

27 Jul

The flag that I got to carry during Opening Ceremony said Discoveries on it. It was part of the “Lifetime” series, which includes Birthdays, Reunions, Weddings and so on… thing that everyone should get to participate in during their lifetime. The meaning of the flag continued on throughout the weekend, as I discovered a lot about myself and lot about those I walked with.

In general, Day 1 goes by pretty quickly because you’re fueled by the excitement of all of your training and fundraising finally coming to an end. Day 2 is usually the hardest because it is the longest walking day and you’re tired from Day 1. Day 3 is usually a bit easier but the mileage is shorter and you know the end is in sight! For me, Day 3 was the hardest.  But we walked through beautiful Cambridge, Harvard Square, through the MIT campus and over the Charles into Boston. We walked through the Commons and through the city. I love Boston and this was a great way to see my favorite city. We walked through Southie and right down to the shore and had lunch by the ocean. Having grown up on the coast of Maine and then moving inland to central Connecticut, I miss the ocean.

The heat on Day 3 at times seemed unbearable. I had to stop in the shade every chance I got to catch my breath and cool off. We walked over so many bridges in the full sun I thought I’d never make it, and the last 3 miles after lunch seemed like an eternity. But in retrospect, I know that 3 miles is just 3 miles. That walking in the sun for a few hours is simply that. Hard maybe, but absolutely doable.

I know that walking 60 miles is nothing compared to what breast cancer patients are currently going through. The emotional and physical strain that women and men have to go through when diagnosed with breast cancer is something that could never be described. As I was texting Paul during the walk about the pain I was feeling and how tired I was, he texted me back and said, “When you feel the most tired and the most sore just think of what you’re accomplishing and the statement you’re making. Think of Karin.” And that kept me going.

I am so proud of myself and of my fellow Boston walkers for making it through all 3 days together. Even though I went to the 3-Day by myself, I was never really alone. I walked with others and made friends, I talked, learned and shared. The walkers and survivors who participated in this walk, and those who will participate in the other 14 walks from now through November are AMAZING people. If you know someone who is walking, support them! Donate, cheer them on, go on a training walk with them, make them a sign, share their blog posts, leave them supportive comments on their Facebook page. If you can, go to Closing Ceremony and see why they walk. See it in person. It’s an amazing and touching experience that you are not likely to forget. I am so glad my parents made it to Closing this year. They supported me last year in my first walk in DC and supported me in my decision to walk again, but as I hugged them after Closing this year and saw the tears in their eyes, I knew I would have their unwavering support forever.

Thank you to all of my Facebook and Twitter friends who sent encouraging messages throughout the weekend, your words helped push me along and gave me the energy to Keep Going®. I am so lucky to call you all friends, and to have made so many new friends through the Keep Going program and through #the3day!

Congratulations Boston 3-Day for the Cure walkers, survivors and crew! The 1600 walkers I had the honor to walk with raised $4.3 MILLION for Susan G. Komen for the Cure! WE ARE AMAZING! I am so proud of every single one of you!

Check out my photos on Facebook from the weekend! Donations are still accepted for another month, if you’ve enjoyed my blog posts I hope you’ll consider making a donation.

And now on to the next walk! Check out the Keep Going Blogger page and follow the 3-Day for the Cure around the country! Next stop, Cleveland!

I am the Energizer Bunny®!

24 Jul

Today, I am nominating myself to be the Energizer Bunny®. 21.2 miles today and I started the day with a big blister on each foot, some tenderness in my left foot, and a pulled muscle in my right thigh. At Pit 2  I got my thigh wrapped with an Ace bandage which helped a lot. The med crew told me that I need to pay careful attention to the tenderness in my foot because if I overwork it I could give myself a stress fracture. So I walked alone today, paying close attention to how I was feeling, stopping to stretch whenever I needed to, and taking my shoes off at every Pit. Even with the new pains, today’s walk went MUCH better than yesterday’s did.

Day 2 is usually the hardest of the 3 days because it’s the longest walk and you’re already tired from Day 1. The first 5 miles today were the worst of the 21, and after I worked out my soreness from yesterday I was good to go. I hope you’ve all been enjoying my tweets along the way. I’m still using my Energizer® Energi-To-Go portable charger every time I turn my phone on at a Pit. My phone would be dead at 1pm if I didn’t have it. I highly recommend getting one if you use your phone a lot or travel often, and you can win one here!

We had some REALLY great cheering stations today. I walked through what I think had to have been the longest cheering station I’ve ever seen. It just kept going and going and literally brought me to tears thinking about the number of people that this walk affects. Every time I think about the money that this event raises, and how many people who see us walk that maybe gets involved in some way, I tear up. It’s overwhelming to be thanked over and over for walking and raising money, because the Thank You’s are so sincere, and they’re sincere because it’s personal. The support is amazing.

And tonight, Candy Coburn performed for us! It was SO cool!! She sang a bunch of her songs, and a Janice Joplin song, and of course she sang “Pink Warrior”!! She’s super cool and down to earth and came out into the crowd and had members of the audience finish lyrics of popular classic rock songs. She’s currently in the 3-Day Shop taking pictures with and signing CD’s for walkers. It was AWESOME! Check out the video I took of  “Pink Warrior”!

I’m really excited for tomorrow’s walk; there’s an energy among all of the walkers knowing that the finish line gets closer and closer with every step. If you’re in the Boston area tomorrow and are looking for something to do after the walk, there’s an unofficial post-race party at The Lansdowne Pub from 6-9pm. There will be over $8,800 in raffle prizes, a live performance by B-Suite Band and a special performance by The Boston Babydolls!

I hope that if you’re in the Boston area tomorrow, that you’ll come and cheer us on or check out Closing Ceremony! Here are the cheering stations:

7:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Shaw’s Supermarket
699 Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

8:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

9:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Boston Public Garden
(between Paul Revere and Swan Boats)
Commonwealth & Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02127

And Closing Ceremony is at the University of Massachusetts in Dorcester. Here we go, Day 3!!

Day 1 Done! And Then the Rain Came…

23 Jul

Day 1 of the Boston Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure is complete! It felt great to walk up the hill and see camp in the distance! It’s been a long, but awesome day here in the outskirts of Boston. Opening ceremony was inspiring and got everyone ramped up to hit the road! I was so honored to have been asked to carry a flag during the opening ceremony, and I got to carry Discoveries.

My walk experience thus far is a lot different than what I experienced last year. Last year I was on a team and Paul walked with me; this year I’m walking solo. It’s been wonderful to meet so many of the different walkers on the route. My Vibrams have made a lot of new friends for me! I get asked a lot what kind of shoes they are and how my feet feel walking in them. Towards the end of the day, I had to be honest and tell them that my feet had felt better days. The first 10 miles went really well, and then I started to feel the blisters forming and the soreness setting in. I also seem to have pulled a muscle in my thigh, so for the last 10 miles I was puttering along at a slower pace which was just fine by me. Reached camp at about 3pm, just when it started to rain.

And as I said, along the way I met some really great people. First, before the walk even started, I met John. John is from Hamden, CT and we met in the New Haven train station. He recognized my gear and sat down and started chatting. This is his 3rd walk so he was telling me the ins and out of Boston. Turns out he was going to carry an opening ceremony flag as well so we’ve become good buddies.

There was Vicky from X Team who is from Newton and a survivor. She was telling me about her 12 year old son who came to opening ceremony practice and looked a little bored. She said she walked over and asked how he was doing and he paused and then said, “You’re a survivor. I’m only 12. This is kind of tough” about watching a ceremony about being a survivor and losing loved ones.

I met George, who is something of a legend around these parts. This is his 7th Boston 3-Day for the Cure walk and his signature, the thing everyone knows him for, is that when he arrives at any Pit Stop or Grab N Go and especially at camp, he walks to the center of the crowd and yells, “Honey!! I’m hooooome!” and everyone cheers. He walks for his wife, who lost her battle with breast cancer.

I met Jill and Christie; Jill from Kentucky and Christie from Texas and they’re walking for Jill’s family. Three of Jill’s sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer within two years, her mom is a survivor, diagnosed twenty years ago.

Of course Men With Heart is here! Great guys in bright yellow shirts who are supportive and really embody the Keep Going® spirit! They stood at the finish line in the rain cheering everyone in.

I think the person who best represents everything the Energizer Bunny® is about and the Keep Going® spirit would be Kevin. I met him during practice for opening ceremonies, and Kevin is walking ALL 15 walks this year! He did one walk in 2008, two in 2009 and decided to do all 15 this year. He said he just wanted to step it up a bit… a bit. But he’s always excited and in the front of the pack, very energetic and ready to Keep Going®. Make sure you find Kevin if you’re doing one of the other 14 walks!!

Looking forward to tomorrow! I need to go do something about my blisters and think about if I’ll keep my Vibrams on tomorrow or if I’ll use the sneakers that I brought with me. Decisions, decisions. Thank you EVERYONE for your supportive tweets during the day! They were so great and really inspired me to Keep Going® as the day was coming to a close!

Donations accepted until 30 days after the walk! Would love your support! http://bit.ly/caitlin3day

3-Day Giveaways!

22 Jul

A few posts back I talked about how much I love the Energizer® Energi-To-Go portable phone charger that I got from Energizer®. I’ve only had it for about two weeks and I can already tell you about how it’s come in super handy when I was in a pinch. Yesterday there was a pretty bad storm making its way through Connecticut. I was driving home from a meeting and all of a sudden there was torrential rain, wind whipping through and I could barely see. I had to take three different routes to get home because of trees that had been blown over and into the road. At points I was driving in water that must have been at least a foot deep. I kept hearing reports on the radio that there were possible tornado touchdowns in the area. I finally pulled onto my road only to find it blocked by a large branch that my neighbors were trying to drag out of the way. When I finally made it to my driveway and got out of the car, my phone was ringing off the hook with my family calling because they heard the reports of tornados in Bristol (where I live). I told them I was fine, the neighborhood was a mess and we had no power but I was OK. As I was on the phone I heard that really annoying beep that tells me my phone is about to die. And I had no power. I got a little nervous because I knew Paul wasn’t home yet and my parents would be calling back again to make sure everything was OK, and I needed my phone!

Then I remembered about my Energizer® Energi-To-Go charger! I plugged that in and I was back in business. I was able to take Lily (our dog) out for a walk and stand outside with the neighbors and not have to worry about Paul being able to get in touch with me. It was such a relief to have it when I needed it most.

And you can have one of your very own Energizer® Energi-To-Go portable chargers because I’m giving one away, compliments of  Energizer®! I’m in Boston ready for the 3-Day for the Cure and starting tomorrow morning I’ll be walking 60 miles with thousands of other dedicated walkers! When I get back to Connecticut on Sunday night I’ll add up the points and announce a winner!

So here’s how you get points, and in order for you to be awarded points you have to comment below so I know you’ve subscribed or tweeted or Facebooked!

For 3 points

*Subscribe to my blog

For 2 points

*Like the Energizer Bunny on Facebook (And as an added bonus, for every new member they have, Energizer® will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen!!): http://www.facebook.com/EnergizerBunny

*Follow the Energizer Bunny on Twitter: @EnergizerBunny

*Follow Energizer on Twitter: @Energizer

*Like Thayer Consulting, LLC (my social media company) on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thayermedia

*Follow me on Twitter (@CTinCT)

For 1 point

*Tweet this: “@CTinCT is giving away an @Energizer Energi-To-Go portable charger! http://ow.ly/2flKW
@EnergizerBunny #KeepGoing”

*Tag Thayer Consulting in your status on Facebook. (i.e. Caitlin from Thayer Consulting is giving away an Energizer® Energi-To-Go portable charger! http://ow.ly/2flKW) If you need to know how to tag on Facebook, click here.

By tweeting and Facebooking more than once, you can get multiple points! I’ll count up the points on Sunday night and announce a winner at 9am on Monday morning! In the event of a tie, I’ll announce both winners and whichever person comments first will win the Energizer® Energi-To-Go portable charger!

Good luck!