Ashley is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. In the summer of 2018, 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 Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
Cancer has afflicted many people in my life, including both family and friends. My Mama won her battle with breast cancer, while my Granny and Papaw both won their battles with thyroid and prostate cancers, respectively. Several people close to my family were all younger than 50 when they lost their lives to cancer. Each of these ties contributes to my connection to the cancer community, however, the most impactful moment for me happened when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The week between his diagnosis and his surgery felt like months as my family waited anxiously for the results. He was lucky. The doctors were able to remove all the infected areas before it could spread, and to this day he is cancer free. Nevertheless, I haven't forgotten that moment of helplessness before his fate had been determined. Unfortunately, instances like my Dad's are more of an exception than the norm. In today's world, there are still countless people who continue to carry the burden of cancer's stifling presence, but the Ulman Cancer Fund offers ways to alleviate this burden. Until a cure is found, I want to aid this foundation in improving both quality of treatment and of life for patients during their battle against cancer.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
At first glance, the connection between running across the country and raising resources and awareness for cancer may lack an obvious connection. However, 4K for Cancer fosters both a surface level of support as well as a deeper purpose. At the surface, our 4K team will help alleviate some of the hardships of cancer by providing chemotherapy bags, scholarships, and support programs to families across the country who are currently influenced by cancer. In addition to spreading resources, however, we will also spread hope. Running across the country will be the greatest physical challenge I've taken on in my life, but it carries a higher meaning than simply running. It symbolizes that anything is possible. The countless miles represent countless research projects aiming to improve treatments. The sheer determination of pushing through the exhaustion of running represents the sheer determination of families to stay strong despite the difficulty of their circumstance. As I run across the country, I want to lift, even partially, some of the burden of cancer from each family I meet and replace it with hope. I'm running for the victories of my Dad and my Grandparents. I'm running for the ongoing battles of those still fighting cancer. I'm running in memory of those whose lives have been taken by cancer. More than anything, though, I'm running to show that this isn't a losing battle--it is a fight we can win.
2018 marks the 17th 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 Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF). Interested in joining the fight? Apply to be a rider or runner a at www.4kforcancer.org!
Over 70,000 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.
The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. With your support, the Ulman Cancer Fund 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.
UCF House - This year UCF broke ground on 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!
|Bettie Goganious||02/23/2018||$50.00||As a three time survivor I am so thankful for supporters like you who are Fighting for a Cure. May God keep you safe on your mission. I am so proud to have you as my neighbor. I still have the little bear you give me during my illness. Go Ashley||Band Sales||02/23/2018||$56.00||Bobbi Coleman||02/19/2018||$20.00||Safe Travels.||AOS Band Sales||02/19/2018||$22.00||Go Ashley!||Anonymous Friend||02/17/2018||$50.00||Friends from your presentation at Fieldstone Church. Good luck!||Sarah Esparza||02/15/2018||$75.00||We love your dedication, Ashley, & wish you the best!||Clay & Emma Ruth Brittain||02/15/2018||$150.00||Good Luck Ashley! Clay & Emma Ruth Brittain||Donna Sawyer||02/13/2018||$50.00||Way to go Ashley!||Atlantic Orthopaedic Band Sales||02/13/2018||$50.00||Kay Hinds Band Sales||02/13/2018||$15.00||Heather Hockey||02/11/2018||$20.00||Best wishes Ashley on your run. Thank you so much for raising money and supporting such a great cause.||Cycle-a-thon Cooper||02/10/2018||$121.00||G Peyton Neatrour||02/06/2018||$100.00||Drs. Savage, Sabol & Visser, Ltd||02/05/2018||$50.00||Kimberly A Oren||01/31/2018||$100.00||The McNeel Family||01/30/2018||$250.00||We appreciate you giving your summer for the benefit of others!||James Dolan||01/26/2018||$100.00||Carlson Bowling Team||01/25/2018||$80.00||Go Ashley!||Michael Mihalick||01/23/2018||$25.00||We hope you enjoy your trip this summer, it is a great way to help many people. Mike and Zona Mihalick||John T Edmonds||01/23/2018||$100.00||Dona K Brower||01/23/2018||$100.00||Tami Booth||01/22/2018||$100.00||good luck Ashley!!||Chad Manke||01/21/2018||$100.00||Ride Hard!||Michael Carlson||01/20/2018||$250.00||Carol McLaughlin||01/18/2018||$50.00||Bob & Pam Sasser||01/17/2018||$100.00||Gail Winkle||01/12/2018||$100.00||Thanks for running and helping those touched by cancer!||Jody Ullmann||01/07/2018||$100.00||So proud of your willingness to make this sacrifice. You've got this.||Alanna Ramquist||01/06/2018||$2.00||Katie Knapp||01/06/2018||$2.00||Patricia and Neil Collins||01/06/2018||$25.00||Patricia Pyle||01/06/2018||$50.00||Lots of love, MaMa||Anonymous Friend||01/05/2018||$100.00||Humphrey Family||12/30/2017||$50.00||Go for it Ashley! We are happy to support this great project.||Lorraine Eaton||12/29/2017||$200.00||Thank you so much for doing this, Ashley!||Natalie Aziz||12/29/2017||$100.00||So proud of all you do and all you will continue to do! Can't wait to hear about this experience and your adventures!||Selwyn Hector||12/25/2017||$85.00||Merry Christmas and thanks for giving up time to be a positive force. I'm happy to help.||Tina Cooper||12/24/2017||$50.00||We will be cheering you on:)!||Anonymous Friend||12/23/2017||$500.00||Proud of you for raising money and providing your time and energy to a great cause.||Kay Hinds||11/13/2017||$100.00||Pamela Taylor||11/09/2017||$30.00||Mike Moore||10/20/2017||$100.00||WOW!||Vicki Vaughan||10/18/2017||$50.00||go girl! we wholeheartedly support you and will be tracking your run for this awesome cause! vicki & joe||Catalina Ortega||10/18/2017||$40.00||What an amazing adventure! and a generous cause!||Anonymous Friend||09/28/2017||$50.00||You got this!!!||Christopher Cooper||09/16/2017||$100.00||Can't wait to see all you accomplish! Run fast!||Jordan Arbuckle||09/16/2017||$15.00||You got this babe!||John Cooper||09/14/2017||$250.00||So proud of your generous spirit! We love you! What an amazing adventure you will have this summer.||Ashley Cooper||07/07/2017||$100.00|