Benjamin Noetzel is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. In the summer of 2017, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore to Portland, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
In 2013, about 2 months after I left my home town of San Diego, I received a call from my dad that he had tested positive for prostate cancer. Over the next several months the severity of the cancer became clearer and clearer. By the end of that year the writing was on the wall. He had a Gleason score of 9, stage 4. Within a year my greatest advocate, hero, and friend seemed to be having his life pulled out from beneath him in a fight for survival.
Growing up dad was my best friend. In elementary school he spent the weekends and summers building our house: inviting friends to come help out and learn some construction skills on their time off. He taught me to use a hammer when I was 6 years old pounding in nails as he framed the walls. In high school he help me build my first car, a 73 VW Beetle. We would work late into the night piecing together the engine on a five gallon paint bucket. He painted it a shiny blue in a make shift paint shop in our garage. In college I worked with my dad building houses and remodeling. The high regard with which held education, and the inquisitive nature of his personality definitely influenced my decision to become a teacher here in Maryland.
When I felt down or confused about where I was going in life my dad always knew what to say to get me going down the right path. He had a great sense of humor and loved to be around people and forge close friendships. My dad lived in the mantra that being genuine and looking out for people would provide you the most success. He was a man who would tell you to do what you enjoy rather than do what brings you the most money.
By 2014 I had begun teaching in Baltimore through a residency. My brother Brad stayed by Dad’s side each day and would help him skype me during the week. I could tell he was getting weaker and weaker as the hormone therapy stopped working, and the radiation was not effective enough. Finally the chemo stopped showing results. My brothers and I spent the spring researching and calling clinical trials, and raising treatment money as dad’s cancer took a turn for the worse. We had over a hundred people at his celebration for life, and many of them helped contribute to his treatment. People from all walks of life shared their stories and the service lasted 45 minutes longer than we had planned.
Through this experience have realized the importance of personal health, checkups and self-advocacy. It’s been over 2 years since dad died and I still think about him each day. My family still feels the absence in our daily life, but we all take with us the knowledge we gained from him and his adventure. That is my connection to the cancer community.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I want to be a rider with 4k because I believe that issues of health awareness and cancer research are crucial now more than ever. Cancer took the most important person in my life, and the reality of the situation is that it was very preventable. I think that riding with 4k will help me gain a sense of closure by giving me the opportunity to spread awareness and meet people across the country who have been affected by these kinds of illnesses. I also believe that this ride is an amazing opportunity to team up with like minded people in order to achieve a difficult goal. These are the kinds of experiences that create memories that will last a lifetime.
Why Should You Dontate?
Donating to this page will help young adults(18-34) and their families who are affected by cancer gain better access to information, financial assitance, and much more. This is also a space for people who have been affected by cancer to spread the message.
Each day we dontate out ride to someone who has battled or is battling cancer. When you donate go ahead and drop a line about them in your donation comment. You can also go o the page below if you want me to dedicate a ride to them:
2017 marks the 16th 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 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!
|Joseph McGowan||06/24/2017||$100.00||Be safe out there Ben. Thanks for doing this.||William Ladd||06/11/2017||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||05/10/2017||$500.00||Anonymous Friend||05/04/2017||$300.00||BJ's Restaurants, Inc.||05/04/2017||$58.80||Von Berg Family||04/19/2017||$50.00||GOOD LUCK!!!||Booster LLC||04/19/2017||$254.61||Christine Johnson||04/14/2017||$150.00||RIDE ON BEN!! your dad would be proud and he will be with you on your journey ❤||Virginia Chattin||04/10/2017||$100.00||Good Luck, Ben! What an awesome endeavor you undertaking in you dad's honor! He would be so proud of you. You and your family will always be in my in my thoughts and prayers!||Nathan & Tracy Reyes||04/09/2017||$100.00||Good luck Ben!||Richard Yoshinaga||04/05/2017||$100.00||Jeff had a big impact on my life, always in good spirit, always with that twinkle in his eye, love what you are doing||Rose Carr||04/05/2017||$25.00||Anonymous Friend||04/04/2017||$250.00||Jaxon Sullivan||04/04/2017||$12.00||Mary Frazier||04/04/2017||$50.00||You go Ben!! Be safe! I love you guys!!||Arielle Polites||04/04/2017||$50.00||Ben, may this journey bring you even closer to your father. May you learn more about yourself. Proud of your bravery.||Moriah Hall||04/04/2017||$50.00||Wishing you the best on this amazing journey! Enjoy the ride!||Mark Rogers||04/03/2017||$50.00||Gina Campion||04/03/2017||$20.00||Richard Kinnaman||04/03/2017||$50.00||Hi Ben, good luck on this awesome endeavor. Richard misses your dad so much each day. I too am struggling with stage IV metastatic melanoma. I've been fighting since 2011 and have been cancer free for 20 months but have scans in a few weeks due to questionable lymph nodes. We'll see! Good luck on the ride and I know your dad is so proud of what you are doing.||Raffle Money!!!!||03/29/2017||$170.00||Thanks chipping in for the raffle guys.||Jay Pyburn||03/29/2017||$20.00||I worked with your brother a few years ago and saw this on LinkedIn. I read through your story and wanted to make a donation for your noble voyage. God Bless!||Garden Fresh Restaurants, LLC||03/24/2017||$51.56||Patrick Luipersbeck||03/23/2017||$100.00||You're an inspiration and look forward to meeting you. Hugs, Marissa's mom...Chris||The Greene Turtle, Fells Point||03/23/2017||$130.00||Jennifer Koller||03/22/2017||$50.00||Good luck, Ben. This is a lovely thing you are doing to pay it forward to those that will walk down this path. I hope you have some gorgeous moments on the ride, moments when you realize that your dad is always with you. Much love, Koller||William Zeller||03/21/2017||$25.00||What a awesome adventure you will have! Your Dad will be right along with you!||Maurine Larkin||03/20/2017||$100.00||Good Luck Ben!!! What an adventure awaits you! Your Dad is so proud of you!||Orrin & Julie-Ann Kelso||03/20/2017||$50.00||Awesome adventure! Sounds like something your dad would have done.||Anonymous Friend||03/19/2017||$25.00||Do it, Ben! YOU GOT THIS!!!||Sonja Bolotin||03/13/2017||$100.00||Elliot Steinbach||03/13/2017||$40.00||This is amazing Ben, I love you buddy!||Sarah Ackley||03/07/2017||$25.00||Bill and Janet L||03/06/2017||$50.00||Heidi Doolan||03/04/2017||$50.00||Best of luck on your journey!||Britney Polites||03/04/2017||$25.00||Hey bud, donating what I can now but don't be surprised if you see more moolah coming from me soon! And let's take a spin class together when I come down to bmore!!!||Esther Gonzalez||03/03/2017||$50.00||Happy to support you Ben. =)||Rynne Griggs||03/03/2017||$100.00||I didn't know your dad very well but I do know he raised a great man. Good luck on your ride Ben.||Stephanie Brown||03/03/2017||$20.00||Wesley Thompson||03/03/2017||$50.00||Hannah Graver-Pothering||03/03/2017||$25.00||Shortly before we started dating, my husband lost his mom unexpectantly to liver cancer. My heart goes out to anyone who experiences this. What an amazing journey for a wonderful cause! Best of luck Ben.||McLean Family||03/03/2017||$200.00||Have an epic ride Ben. I'm sure you'll be feeling Dad's presence.||Allyson Bowers||03/02/2017||$20.00||Best of luck Ben!||Rebekah Wood||03/01/2017||$25.00||Way to go Ben!! Good luck!!||Mike Johnson||03/01/2017||$100.00||Great job Benny. Can't wait to see you at the end of this awesome journey||Todd Noetzel||02/28/2017||$300.00||Ben this is an amazing thing your doing. Super proud of you and very proud to call you my brother. I wish you good luck on your journey! For anyone reading this please spread the word about getting tested and about self advocacy. Don't take no for an answer. Early screening saves lives.||Jimmy Walker||02/24/2017||$50.00||Ben, I have very fond memories at your house with your father. The work your doing here is second to none. If you need anything you've got my number. Be safe!||Amber Wood||02/24/2017||$100.00||Bob Weas||02/23/2017||$50.00||Good luck Ben on your epic journey! With what you and others are doing to help end Cancer wopefully someday will put an end to this horrible disease. So those effected can live on like Jeff does in our hearts.||Wyatt Anthony||02/23/2017||$20.00||Best of luck! -Wyatt and family||Stephen Schumacher||02/22/2017||$25.00||This is awesome, man. Good luck out there!||Barbara Davis||02/22/2017||$100.00||Neil Yetz||02/22/2017||$100.00||Hell yeah, Ben! Excited for you to partake in this epic journey. rooting for you! Jeff would be way proud dude. Love you, man!||Janice Trubisky||02/22/2017||$25.00||You are an awesome person!||Daniel Felix||02/21/2017||$100.00||Marissa Luipersbeck||02/21/2017||$20.00||Good luck Ben! What an amazing thing you are doing.||Shane O'Brien||02/20/2017||$10.00||What an amazing commitment, cycling across the country. I remember when your dad was still building the house, and how beautiful the finished product was. His drive has clearly been and inspiration.||Sean McNally||02/20/2017||$20.00||Best of luck on the journey. What you are doing is a great thing.||Susan Noetzel||02/20/2017||$200.00||Proud of you Ben||Marco Pelloni||02/18/2017||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||02/18/2017||$20.00||I love you Ben!||Benjamin Noetzel||02/17/2017||$100.00|