Madison Nasteff is a senior at Rice University. In the summer of 2019, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco to Baltimore, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My grandfather is one of the most kind, selfless, and giving people in my life. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were going out on the boat with my grandfather and all my siblings and doing what we called “speedies.” We would ride fast with our hair whipping in the wind and I would always look back at my grandfather and see him smiling and laughing. When he was diagnosed with cancer when I was in eighth grade, I couldn’t process the information. The man who had been so strong my whole life had something that was destroying him from the inside. I worried about him every day and I was always scared to ask him how he was for fear of the worst news. I finally asked him once I got to college to tell me his story.
His initial diagnosis came in 2011 after he inquired about a lump in his neck. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma. After continued monitoring and routine CT and PET scans, his diagnosis was changed from Lymphoma to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. In 2017 during a routine appointment with his dermatologist, skin samples were taken and the lab reported that he had Lymphoma on his skin. This was an indication that his cancer was getting more aggressive and he began a six month radiation treatment that ended in early 2018. He continues to get PET scans frequently and while the tumors are gone from his lymph nodes, the cancer remains in his blood.
Through the entire process, my grandfather has remained so strong. He truly is the glue that holds our family together and still loves to take us all on “speedies.” I have seen how cancer can affect a family and how difficult the treatment can be, and anything I can do that could potentially help the cause would truly be an honor.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
Ever since the eighth grade I have been in love with running. When I am stressed or need to clear my head, the first thing I do is go for a run. I am also a big adventure seeker and I love connecting with people, especially through running. However, the ultimate reason I am interested in running with the 4K is to be able to connect with patients along the trip, raise money to support the Ulman Cancer Fund, and connect with other individuals who are affected by cancer in some way or another. Cancer is something that truly touches everyone in some capacity. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by this horrible disease and the more research that can be done, the sooner a cure can be discovered. I would love to be able to contribute even in just a small way to help bring the world one step closer to a cure, and to provide comfort, scholarships, and resources especially to young adults who are going through something unimaginable. To be able to combine my love for running with my passion to serve the cancer community could not be a more perfect combination.
2019 marks the 18th year of the 4K for Cancer sending young adults on journeys across the country in an effort to inspire hope and unite communities in the fight against cancer. The 4K for Cancer is a program of the Ulman Foundation (Ulman). Interested in joining the fight? Apply to be a rider or runner a at www.4kforcancer.org!
Over 72,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer every year. Young adults (ages 15-39) face a variety of unique challenges with a cancer diagnosis including fertility preservation, social isolation, lack of insurance, delayed diagnosis, and more.
Ulman Foundation changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. With your support, Ulman is able to provide free support services and resources for the young adult cancer community including:
Cancer to 5K - a 12-week training program designed to introduce or reintroduce cancer survivors to physical activity.
Patient Navigation - a free program (onsite at cancer centers and remotely through our office) that ensures no young adult ever faces cancer alone. We provide one-on-one support & resources to young adults and their families to help them manage the cancer experience and long-term cancer survival.
Scholarships - a financial assistance program to help young adults continue their education after being affected by cancer through their own diagnosis or the diagnosis of a loved one.
Ulman House - This year Ulman will open a “home away from home” to provide free housing for young adult cancer patients, and their caregivers, in East Baltimore.
Your donation will help make these programs and our mission possible!
|Greg Teschner||06/21/2019||$100.00||Madison Nasteff||06/19/2019||$100.00||Donation from Ed Francis||Elizabeth Backhaus||06/18/2019||$100.00||So proud of your giving heart. Love you Madison!||Andy Bhateja||06/09/2019||$25.00||Hey Madison, so glad you’re doing this! Good luck, have the best time ever!||Katy & Greg Greenwood||05/14/2019||$100.00||Your Grandparents are my cousins. Congratulations on all of your achievements now and in your future. You are one amazing human. Best wishes for your success.||Mary Castro||05/14/2019||$50.00||Good luck with your run and your bright future☘️||Stephanie Nasteff-Pilato||05/13/2019||$100.00||Mikki Hebl||05/12/2019||$200.00||Go Madison Go! The Rice community is proud of you!!!||Madison Nasteff||05/06/2019||$50.00||Venmo donation from Alix Macklin||Mauli and Sue Agrawal||04/21/2019||$200.00||You are so inspiring! Great cause. Have a good summer.||Mary Reed||04/02/2019||$100.00||So proud of you Madison! I love you, Muzzi ❤️||Mr. and Mrs. Elvin Hollon||04/02/2019||$250.00||Tom Steele||04/01/2019||$50.00||I know your parents are very proud of you and the way you give back to the community - so am I!||Leah Rubin||03/28/2019||$25.00||Madison Nasteff||03/23/2019||$105.00||Venmo donations from Dr. Schaefer and Ashton Duke!||Anonymous Friend||03/22/2019||$200.00||Good luck Madison! I am a Rice alum (class of 2013) and saw the Thresher article. One of my good friends is working through a cancer diagnosis (and working through a PhD!), so when I saw the article about you and read about the goals of the Ulman foundation, I felt I needed to help!||Diane Crossey||03/22/2019||$100.00||So proud of you Madison! You’re going to do great things in this world!||Emily G||03/20/2019||$50.00||So impressed and inspired - good luck!||Katherine Simmers||03/20/2019||$25.00||You’re amazing! Can’t wait to see where this path takes you.||Mary Natoli||03/20/2019||$25.00||Hi Madison, I am a Rice graduate student who was on Team Portland 2013 (biking). I am so excited for you and wish you the best for this amazing and transformative experience.||Emma Reford||03/20/2019||$25.00||you inspire me to always ~run~ towards my dreams||Caitlin Reeve||03/20/2019||$10.00||Good luck!||Philip Roach||03/20/2019||$50.00||Madison Nasteff||02/13/2019||$642.85||Chipotle fundraiser and Clothes For Cancer||Emily Gordon||02/09/2019||$9.00||Couldn't make it to Chipotle, but I'm happy to support you!||Madison Nasteff||02/04/2019||$200.00||Super Bowl Squares Donations||Andrew Smith||02/03/2019||$50.00||Molly Shepard||01/30/2019||$50.00||You're awesome, Madison!! Good luck this summer!||Madison Nasteff||12/20/2018||$50.00||Festive 50||Madison Nasteff||11/30/2018||$281.50||4k for 4k pledges!||Sachi Paul||11/29/2018||$20.00||you're so strong & are totally killing it!!!!! really proud of you :)))||Troy Turley||11/27/2018||$100.00||Good luck with your run across the country. I'm jealous!||Mini Bhattacharya||11/24/2018||$100.00||Enrique Walsh||10/01/2018||$100.00||Excelsior. Here's to finding silver linings! Go Madison!||Julie Walsh||10/01/2018||$50.00||Mary Castro||10/01/2018||$100.00||Best wishes for your success||Kathleen Francis||09/30/2018||$50.00||This sounds so cool! Good luck, and hope you're doing well!||Jeff Doidge||09/29/2018||$200.00||Run, Madison, Run!||Anonymous Friend||09/29/2018||$20.00||Ian Frankel||09/28/2018||$20.00||Audrey Doidge||09/28/2018||$20.00||Go, Madison, Go!||Maddie Murphy||09/28/2018||$15.00||Serena Agrawal||09/28/2018||$30.00||Carpe the hell out of this diem <3||Nishant Verma||09/28/2018||$30.00||Thank you!||Morgan Abernathy||09/28/2018||$15.00||hopefully u don't have to run thru Indiana - good luck!!||Grandma & Papa Joe Quinn||09/28/2018||$1,000.00||Madison Nasteff||09/28/2018||$50.00||Venmo donation from Sierra + a little||Claire Bonnyman||09/28/2018||$25.00||Amazing!! Go Madison!!||Madison Nasteff||09/27/2018||$100.00|