The Adventures of Nancy Rivera and Diane Sanderson

June 10 – 12, 2005


“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”  Bob Marley stated it well.  Nancy and I could change this quote to express our feelings about the Breast Cancer 3-Day.  “One good thing about doing something for others, when you do it, you feel no pain.”  Well, not NO pain, but you have to put it into perspective.


“LONG AND WINDING ROAD” – We started our journey at Ameriquest Field in ArlingtonNancy’s husband Prax was kind enough to get us there by 5:30am on Friday, just to find out we weren’t leaving the holding area until 7:15 at the conclusion of Opening Ceremonies.  That in itself was very emotional.  Day One was 21.5 miles long, taking us through some not-so-lovely business parks of Grand Prairie and Irving.  The skies were overcast and there was a nice breeze, so we felt tired but not so miserable as we entered the campus of North Lake College in Irving around 3pm.  According to the counters, we finished #70 and 71 out of 1500 walkers – not too shabby for 47 and 49 year old ladies!  After finding our tent already put up and bags delivered to our campsite, we felt pretty lucky.  We stumbled to the shower trucks (yes, we showered in semi trailers) and ate a nice meal by 4:30, and then tried to find a shady spot to relax.  The tents were suffocating!  We finally got to sleep close to 10pm, just to be awakened by a thunderstorm (rain included) at 11:30.  We had to climb out of our tent and put on our tarp – but of course we were wet by then.  We didn’t get much sleep that night.  Nancy, along with 999 of her new best friends, got what the medical staff was calling “heat rash” on her legs.  No surprise when Medical ran out of Benadryl!  We also heard about 70 walkers had to have IV fluids after the first day – we were thankful for healthy bodies and lots of water.  Did I mention that I tried to faint in the shower that afternoon because I thought I was smarter than the medical team?  They told us not to shower as soon as we hit the camp, but we didn’t listen.  We were so hot and dirty!  I just knew a cold shower would be wasn’t.  Thank goodness Nancy was close by with a towel, water, and a cold rag for my face!    


“ON THE ROAD AGAIN” – Day Two was purportedly 23.5 miles.  That gave us ample time to meet some wonderful people.  We visited at length with two breast cancer survivors and were so inspired by their courage, strength, and determination.  Strangely enough, they both had 3-year-old daughters at home – maybe reminders that life does go on after breast cancer.  We marveled at the fact that by the end of that day, we had crossed I-75 and made it all the way to White Rock Lake, no small trip even in a car!  We entered camp by 3pm and came in #60 and 61.  Our families were there to greet us, something we really needed after a long day.  Nancy’s family brought M&Ms and Diet Cokes!  (They know what’s important.)  Though it was hotter than heck, we got much better sleep that night because (a) our next-door tent mates weren’t on the phone til all hours, and (b) it didn’t rain.  We found out that about 400 walkers left to go home and several spent the night in nearby hotels.  We also heard that we walked closer to 26 miles on Saturday – WE KNEW IT!  We were pretty beat at the end of that day.


“STILL CRUISIN” – Now we were really inspired to get up early and on the road.  We left White Rock Lake by 6:30 Sunday morning and knew we only had 16.7 miles to make it to the holding area, where we would wait for closing ceremonies.  We arrived at our “lunch stop” at 9:30am!  After grabbing a quick bite, we took off at a pace we NEVER could have done the day before and made it to the Dallas Convention Center at noon.  There, waiting for us and taking lovely pictures, were our husbands and Nancy’s sister Kathy.  We were told we were #29 and 30 finishing – we felt great.


And guess what.  No blisters to speak of, no sore muscles the next day, probably no lost weight (because they fed us so well at the Pit Stops and meals).  What did we gain?  New friends; renewed respect for those brave souls who have fought the battle and won; appreciation of warm, dry beds and air conditioning; love for all of you who sponsored us, encouraged us, and prayed for us as we walked; and most of all, we left knowing that there WILL be a cure for breast cancer, and we’ve all been a part of that success.


Together with your help, Nancy and I raised $4600 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to fund breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs, as well as the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, to provide an endowment for breast cancer initiatives.  The entire Dallas 3-Day raised $4.1 million.    One step at a time……….