Walking 60 Miles for a Cure

. August 31, 2018.
Emily decked out in pink for the Susan G. Komen 3-day, which covers 60 miles.
Emily decked out in pink for the Susan G. Komen 3-day, which covers 60 miles.

Family is important to Emily Wolfe. When her mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, Wolfe became determined to do everything in her power to help find a cure.

A native of Findlay, Wolfe is mom to three little girls: Ava, 8; Ali, 4 and Willow, just months old. She and her husband, Ryan, have known each other since they were 14 years old. Their families are close and loving. In fact, the couple and their children live just two blocks from Emily’s parents and seven houses down from Ryan’s parents.

Dealing with the breast cancer diagnosis in 2015 was difficult for everyone. Wolfe did her best to support her mother-in-law, Lori, through the ups and downs of treatment. Thankfully, Lori is cancer-free today.

Family cheers on Emily during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Left to right, Ava, Heather Wolfe, Emily, Ali, Lori Wolfe, and Tami (Ryan’s aunt).

Family cheers on Emily during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Left to right, Ava, Heather Wolfe, Emily, Ali, Lori Wolfe, and Tami (Ryan’s aunt).

Inspired by the Susan G. Komen Foundation

While Wolfe is thankful everyday that her mother-in-law is doing well, she’s not content. During her mother-in-law’s battle, Wolfe did extensive reading about breast cancer. She was inspired by the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s mission to fund breast cancer research. “Finding a cure for breast cancer, like we did for polio, that speaks to me,” she said. “As a mom, I don’t want to have to worry about my children’s health down the road.”

For the past two years, Wolfe has participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Novi, Michigan, in early August. The 3-Day requires a more intense commitment—both in fundraising and in walking—than the Race for the Cure. Participants need to raise a minimum of $2,300 and they walk 60 miles over three days.

To date, Wolfe has raised over $10,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation! She’s accomplished this by soliciting family and friends and sponsoring local fundraisers. She spends months preparing for the 3-Day by walking nearly every day. This year, she gave birth in July, but still managed to prepare and participate.

The Wolfe family welcomed baby Willow in July. Clockwise from left, Ava, Emily, Ryan and Ali holding baby Willow.

The Wolfe family welcomed baby Willow in July.
Clockwise from left, Ava, Emily, Ryan and Ali holding baby Willow.

An example to her children

Through her example, Wolfe is teaching her daughters that it takes sacrifice and hard work to make a difference. She recalls crossing the finish line after walking 20 miles on the second day of her first 3-Day event. She felt exhausted and sore and started crying when she saw her daughters. Her oldest daughter, Ava, asked, “If it hurts so bad, why are you doing it?”

“So others don’t have to go through what Grandma Lori went through,” Emily replied.

Ava internalized that message and this summer, she operated a lemonade stand in her grandparents’ front yard on Main Street to help raise money. Ava’s “Lemonade for the Cure” raised $500 and the stand attracted many cancer survivors who stopped by to share their stories and to donate.

Ali and Ava raised $500 with a “Lemonade for the Cure” stand.

Ali and Ava raised $500 with a “Lemonade for the Cure” stand.

The first 3-Day she participated in, Wolfe walked by herself, making friends along the journey. This August, she walked with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. In the future, she hopes to get even more family and friends involved. “Susan G. Komen hopes to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026,” said Wolfe. “It’s my hope that the percentage will continue to increase.”

To learn more and to donate visit: the3day.org/emilywolfe

Q&A with Emily Wolfe

Where do you enjoy walking?
I have loved to walk my whole life! My favorite place to walk is downtown Findlay because there is so much to see. I enjoy watching the changing seasons and scenery as I walk. This summer, my husband and I set out on a mission to find the Little Free Library boxes during our walks.

What are your family’s favorite activities?
We like putt-putt golf at Shady Grove and my daughters really enjoy the Children’s Museum.

What are your favorite Findlay restaurants?
I was born on Cinco de Mayo, so Mexican food has always been a favorite. My husband and I like Oler’s Bar & Grille, and my daughters like Rancho Fiesta.