“We walk because we must.
We are strong because the journey demands it.
Together in body and united in spirit we lay down our foot steps for this generation and the next. This is our promise, a world without breast cancer.”

I’ve known Robin for as long as I’ve known her sister, and her sister and I are celebrating our ten year friendship anniversary this year (yep, the WHOLE YEAR). I think I donated to one of Robin’s prior walks years ago (she started back in 2006), but I never really took the time to figure out what it was, other than insane MADNESS. Have you heard of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure? It’s three days. Of walking. 20 miles a day. That’s 60 miles in three days. Like I said: insane madness.

Why would someone put themselves through that? Like most things in life, there are usually several reasons why we do things.

For Robin, one reason is that she wants to make a difference in the world. According to the numbers, breast cancer affects one in every eight women. The whole reason Robin first got involved with the 3-day Walk was because she saw a commercial for it, and was deeply moved by the stories of those affected, directly and indirectly, by breast cancer. If you think about it, you probably know someone that’s been affected, or know someone that knows someone. Think, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but unfortunately you probably don’t need six degrees of separation.
Another reason Robin does it is because it can be “the most positive three days of your life.” By committing to this, Robin committed herself to push herself beyond her limits, both physically and mentally. Before her first walk, Robin was not a very active person, and the thought of walking more than from her car to a store seemed crazy to her! But along with a good friend she made the commitment, and put herself through streaneous training sessions, the first of which she quit after two miles. But she stuck to it, and she did again, and again.

What keeps her coming back?

“From the minute you wake up in the morning, perfect strangers are lining the streets cheering you on, sharing their stories and inspiration with you. There are people with t-shirts and signs that say ‘Your efforts saved my life’ — and it is true, with the amount of money each event raises (my last San Diego event raised $14 million — and the 3 Day is in 14 cities!), incredible strides are being made in detection and treatment. And, too, there are times in our lives where we are facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge and then I remind myself that I walked 20 miles a day for three solid days, something I never thought I could do — three times now! I can certainly deal with the little curve balls life throws me.”

Aside from the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the 3-day walk, is the obvious financial one. One of the main reasons the walk exists is to raise money to help with research, development, awareness, and detection programs for breast cancer. Each participant pledges to raise $2,300.00. That’s a lot of money. Especially in these economic times. Robin admits that this is the most challenging part of the 3-day walk: “it is never easy to ask people for money, even for such a worthy cause. It is even more difficult to have to ask a few times, or even to get a response.”

I asked Robin why people should donate and help her reach her goal (she’s got one week until her race, and needs to raise $1,203 to reach her goal of $2,300), and this was her response:

“I feel that people should donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation because the disease they are combatting is one that affects us all. I look around at the girls in my classroom and think 3 or 4 of them will have breast cancer if we don’t find a way to cure, or at least diminish, the rate of this cancer. I have a student who lost her 32-year old aunt to breast cancer. I have a co-worker who lost BOTH parents to breast cancer. The youngest breast cancer survivor on my walk in ’08 was only 11 years old. I would challenge anyone to stand in a room with eight women and find that none of them has been personally affected by this disease.”
“I walk so that someday, no one has to.”