Kicking off the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Dallas/Fort Worth, the event’s opening ceremony will take place at Collin Creek Mall in Plano on Friday, Nov. 4. The event raises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at both the local and national level. The closing ceremony will be held at Fair Park in Dallas, Sunday, Nov. 6.
Over the course of three days walkers will make their way from Plano to Farmers Branch and finally to Fair Park. Somewhere in between the start and finish is “Camp,” a place for walkers and crew to form bonds and celebrate loved ones who have survived and those whose lives have been cut short by this aggressive disease.
New this year, beginning at Pit Stop 4 on Day Two and “stretching” into camp, there will be a “Survivor Stretch.” Breast cancer survivors from the community are invited to gather in one section on Saturday afternoon so that all the walkers can see whom they are raising money for—the reason why they walk—and the survivors can see the support the community is putting into what they are battling.
Men and women have been preparing physically and mentally all year for the event. Signing up to complete a three-day, 60-mile walk may seem like a daunting endeavor. However, for walker Melissa Loder, the walk isn’t the toughest challenge she’s ever faced. That designation is reserved for her fight against breast cancer.
After her diagnosis in 1998, Melissa underwent numerous surgeries and radiation treatments for a year, and at 35 years old she became a breast cancer survivor. Despite her support for raising awareness and promoting research, at the time immediately following her remission Melissa was not ready to walk the footsteps of a survivor in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event.
“I participated in the Race for the Cure,” Melissa said, “but it wasn’t until 2007 that I decided to participate in the 3-Day Walk [with my daughter]. I was far enough away from my diagnosis and treatment that I was not terrified to talk to other people who had breast cancer.”
After her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day, she knew what it meant to be part of something so instrumental in the lives of men and women affected by breast cancer. “But the 3-Day is much more than just the walk,” she said. “It’s about the camaraderie between walkers, and it’s about the support these walkers receive from the community.”
This year marks Melissa’s 10th time to walk. She walks with her husband, David, and her daughter, Alex, along with other members of her team. While her family is mainly there in support of her, Melissa walks for the (at least) 15 other women she has known over the last 18 years who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Every year it’s another one or two people—someone’s mother, sister, friend—it’s an epidemic,” Melissa said. “So we continue to walk.”
Sign up for the 3-Day Walk below. 3-day walkers must commit to raise $2,300 and 20-mile walkers (first timers only) need to commit to raising $750.Susan G. Komen 3-Day Website >