Teachers walk 60 miles to help fight breast cancer

Teachers Catherine Thielberg, left, and Jen Culbertson took part in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk  Aug. 3-5 in Detroit, Michigan.

Teachers Catherine Thielberg, left, and Jen Culbertson took part in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk Aug. 3-5 in Detroit, Michigan.

By Leslie Najera-Rivas, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

English teacher Jen Culbertson and special education teacher Catherine Thielberg joined the fight against breast cancer in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk this summer.

“It was the hardest thing we have ever done, both during the training we did for seven months, the fundraising, and the actual event,” Thielberg said. “At the event, we met some amazing individuals, heard stories of sorrow and hope, and were inspired by so many survivors and walkers who have lost loved ones to breast cancer.”

The walk was especially memorable for Culbertson.

“I didn’t just walk for breast cancer, my dad had his third bout of cancer. He had bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and then he had his prostate removed and that is when cancer came back, in July he was cancer free,” Culbertson said. “I would love to live in a world where no one has cancer affect them. Unfortunately, we’re living where cancer affects everyone.”

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day is a 60-mile three-day event that began in 2016 to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent.

“The concept (is to) walk 20 miles a day, sleep in a tent, and do it again two more times. For one Komen mile, it could be anywhere from one mile to five miles of walking. Komen doesn’t count all the miles walking in and out of first aid tents, food tents, porta-potties, etc. because it is just walking, people of all shapes, sizes, and ages walk during this event,” Thielberg said.

In order to participate, walkers must raise a minimum amount for fighting cancer.

“To be a 3-Daywalker, you have to fundraise $2,300 per participant. Many teachers and staff members were very generous and supportive with their words of encouragement and their dollars. Jen’s students raised over $500 toward the cause,” Thielberg said. “The 3-Day event in Michigan raised over $1 million for breast cancer, research, treatment, awareness, and education.”

Culbertson and Thielberg participated all three days

“The thing that struck me the most was that no one walks alone. When the last walker comes into camp each night, everyone gathers to walk with him/her to cross the day’s finish line,” Thielberg said. “Our Snowball program here has a similar feel to the Komen walk. People coming to together for a common purpose and goal, working together so that no one feels alone.”

People could choose to walk for other reasons not just for breast cancer.

“We heard stories of sorrow and stories of hope. There was an 87-year-old who was walking and on his back, it said, ‘If you want to walk with your might, you might as well start walking now,’ Culbertson said.

The event became a memorable moment for Culbertson and Thielberg.

“The most memorable part for me was crossing the final 60-mile finish line and hearing and seeing the support of thousands of people cheering us on,” Culbertson said. “At closing ceremonies, all the walkers held up one shoe in honor of those walkers or crew members who are currently going through treatment or those who are lucky enough to be called survivors.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email