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JBLM Spouse trains for Seattle Susan G. Komen 3-Day

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In military life, words like "honor" and "loyalty" are used daily. While some spouses stay home and others hold jobs, many would agree that "resilient"would be a perfect word to describe them. Everything from major military milestones such as deployments and prolonged training to parent teacher conferences and trips to the commissary with three kids in tow is not easy. JBLM spouse Crystal Brown is the epitomy of resilient.

Brown's story starts in high school, when she found a lump in her right breast. The doctor diagnosed it as a cyst. Unfortunately the same could not be said for another lump found in the same breast a few years later, in 1999. The lump was removed, but Brown and her family are waiting to hear back for news about yet another lump she recently discovered. In addition to being a breast cancer survivor, she has also had skin and kidney cancer as well as a liver transplant. The skin cancer is completely gone, the kidney cancer is in remission, and her transplant is doing well.

This past winter, Brown heard a radio commercial for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk in Seattle. "I would make everyone in the car quiet down, and I would turn up the commercial," she said. "Because of my cancer history, the more I heard it, the more I had the urge to do this."

Following clearance from her doctor, Brown eagerly got a head start on training, knowing that the longest training walk would be a whopping 18 miles - an approximately five-hour excursion.

With her training schedule covering a total of 645 miles from March to September, Brown is beaming, knowing that she has an entire support system behind her. Her husband, Richard, a specialist with the 542nd Maintenance Company, supports her every step of the way. "My husband will go out on walks with me, and he is always encouraging," she said, quickly adding, "but I will have to admit my biggest fan is my 10-year-old daughter."

Brown's parents are also making the trek from California, and her entire family will be strategically placed along the walk to motivate and encourage her. Not only will she have loved ones cheering her on, but she also has a training handbook from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and numerous online support to help her prepare.  "There are forums and chat," Brown said, "but then there is also a 3-Day friend finder." This is an online tool that matches up participants with each other based on their walking speed, age and even location.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day will cover 60 miles over three days from Sept. 14 to 16. For more information about the race or to donate, visit

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