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.
In order to make this vision of spreading hope a reality, I need your help. If you're financially able and ready to support the cause, use the link below to donate. If you want to talk to me more about my experience and mission, please reach out. If you want to help, but aren't able to donate at the time, sharing my link with others would be a huge way to show support. After all, raising awareness is a huge aspect of my mission this summer. Whatever it is you decide to do, thank you for supporting me, and more importantly, for supporting those who may be starting to lose hope.
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!
|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|