The money we raise will help save lives.

Michelle Olson

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Warriors | 0 comments

Michelle Olson

Hi, my name is Michelle Olson and I have walked with Team Tiara since 2008.

How I became a Tiara.

I found out about Team Tiara from Suzi Bruin, who had just finished walking her first 3-Day two weeks prior. (I now understand the 3-Day high she was on!) I was at our neighborhood 5K event and Suzi spotted my Komen Race for the Cure t-shirt. It just happened to be on top in my t-shirt drawer that day! You know the saying; Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. When she told me about the 3-Day and walking 60 miles I thought she was crazy! “Did you say 6-0???” After that encounter I could not stop thinking about it for a long week. I called up my childhood BFF in Minnesota and said I had found the answer to us doing that “fun friend getaway” which we always dream about fitting into our schedules. We both registered online that evening. I had no idea at that point the impact the 3-Day would have on me.

Why I walk.

When I signed up to walk 4 years ago I did not know anyone who had encountered breast cancer, first hand or even through a friend/family member. I felt guilty not having a story when people asked me whom I was walking for, so I would answer, “My three daughters- I walk for their future.” It seems odd to say that today because I know far too many that have not only been diagnosed since then, but have sadly lost their fight.

After that first year in 2008 I understood at a deeper level why I was walking. It wasn’t about catching up with my friend- sorry, Kelly! I regret not journaling after the event what I had seen and experienced. It is difficult to put into words what it feels like to read and see pictures on the back of walker’s shirts, to talk face to face with a survivor looking you in the eye and thanking you for walking. To see, “She is still in the fight” on the backs of a husband/son who are walking side by side for their wife and mother. I would then see them at future 3-Days with the same message.

Breast cancer is incredibly real, but especially after attending a 3-Day walk.

The next year my oldest daughter Hannah and I walked the Komen Race for the Cure. It definitely gave her a glimpse of what this walk is all about. My girls can draw the best pink ribbons and spot them while we’re driving, at a store, or even on people. Since Noelle was two she’s been shouting, “Look mom, it’s a breast cancer ribbon!!!” At one point my artistic daughter Grace was even drawing ribbon people that were pretty cool looking! It touched me this year when Hannah donated her own money to me because I hadn’t yet reached my goal.

The girls know what I’m doing, why I do it and they want to walk with me one day. I love that they get it. They see that I am passionate about something that is bigger than us. They want to be a part of it and make a difference.

Every year, I arrive at the 3-Day a different person. I leave more knowledgeable and a bigger heart for the cause. Last year’s 3-Day was uniquely special because I was asked to carry the Dream flag at Opening Ceremony. What an honor! It ended perfectly with my family there cheering me on for the first time!

I walk for those that have gone before us, those present with us, and the hope that one day there will be no one who needs to walk after us.

I walk so my three daughters will not have to.

Michelle Olson
Team Tiara Walker 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

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