Morgan Kinkade is a senior at the University of Northern Iowa. 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?
Cancer is prevalent on both sides of my family, affecting many people I love. My maternal great uncle just recently passed away due to prostate cancer. This has been very rough on our family as he was the one who held us together, set high expectations, and ran our family farm. My great grandpa also passed away from this type of cancer. My paternal grandmother’s sister also lost the battle to differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma. Many of my grandmother’s siblings have had or are battling cancer. My mother’s cousins have also suffered from breast cancer and had pre-cancerous spots removed.
I also had two cancer survivors on my New York Team 2018. Seeing how that has impacted their lives urges me to continue helping others currently fighting.
As I have lost many family members and community members due to cancer, I have witnessed much pain and sorrow through them and their loved ones. If I can make a difference in the cancer community by minimizing the number of people affected, or even being able to brighten someone’s day who is going through the struggles of cancer, I would be ecstatic!
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
I am also extremely passionate about the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults and the 4K for Cancer program. Witnessing the great things the organization does and the awareness the programs spread across the country is extremely impactful! No cancer fighter is left alone. Believing in a support system and hope makes all the difference in the world.
After going through a major, potentially life threatening surgery in February of 2017, my perspective on life has changed. I underwent duodenojejunostomy surgery and spent a few months solely focusing on recovery afterwards. Many days I would not even be able to get out of bed and relied on medication to control the unbearable pain I was facing. Realizing that many people are stuck in hospitals with an endless amount of treatments without a guarantee of ever leaving again or beating their sickness is immensely heart-rending for me to think about. I want to do whatever I can to give back and minimize the number of people put in this situation.
I want to be a runner with the 4K to give back to others and do something bigger than myself. I want to make a difference in the world. I have been given the ability to run and I want to serve it forward to those who may not be able to do so. Since I run large distances in my individual training, I have the urge to do it with others and make a difference in the cancer community along the way. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives and provide comfort and a listening ear. I am also eager to develop close relationships with my teammates as we travel through the United States. Leaning on each other through hard times will allow us to step out of our comfort zones and become vulnerable. Ultimately, I want to grow individually and impact the lives of others who are or have been affected by cancer.
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!
|Resilience Gives||04/08/2019||$16.00||Anonymous Friend||03/21/2019||$1,000.00||Nylene Curtis||02/15/2019||$100.00||Joseph Billings||02/15/2019||$25.00||You are amazing and I can’t wait to watch you journey this summer. ❤️❤️❤️||Briana Swanson||02/14/2019||$20.00||Keep up the good work!||Trevor C||02/13/2019||$10.00||Keep up the amazing work Morgan! Can't wait to see you run across the country again!||Austin Stoelk||02/13/2019||$20.00||This is absolutely awesome. Keep doing incredible things Morgan!||Anonymous Friend||01/31/2019||$200.00||Venmo||American Legion Auxiliary Unit to Emil Ewoldt Post #22||01/08/2019||$500.00||12/18/2018||$110.00||Drew Hinners||12/02/2018||$20.00||Devon Clarke||11/27/2018||$40.00||Let’s not hurt yourself this year :)||Anonymous Friend||10/30/2018||$520.00||T-shirt Fundraiser and Bake Sale||Brad Benton||10/23/2018||$25.00||Carrie Cota||09/17/2018||$20.00||You go girl! Your new team mates are so lucky to have you on their team. I love you!||Emily Guth||09/17/2018||$25.00||To the best co-trainer I could've asked for. I'm so proud of you! Enjoy your new team but never forget your OGs. Love you!||Morgan Kinkade||09/14/2018||$100.00|