Brandon Hayes is a grad student at University of Colorado at Boulder. In the summer of 2019, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore, MD to Seattle, WA, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I have been luckier than most. I did not grow up watching my Aunt battle breast cancer; I did not drive my sister to chemotherapy; and, I did not have to wonder if I had the same predisposition to breast cancer as the rest of my family. However, my friends have. In fact, the reason I began participating in Relay for Life during my undergrad at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was to support a close friend and her family. You can't take away someone's grief. You can't curb the tears. But, you can just be there. Sometimes a hug and your presence make the difference in someone's life that you cannot truly comprehend.
Cancer does not discriminate. That was the message of every speaker at RIT's Relay for Life. Story after story impressed that young or old, rich or poor, student or professor, cancer can affect us all. Within my own family, skin cancer as well as other forms of cancer have been present. However, we have been lucky. I believe that my connection to the cancer community stems mostly from supporting my friends. While I don't live their story, I can always be present and offer my support.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
The Dalai Lama puts it best, "just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects." I am proof of this quote. Who I am today was not who I was at the start of college. What was the change: a single individual. I believe a successful life is measured not by accolades but by the lives you touch along the way. To me, the 4K is an unparalleled opportunity to touch the lives of those you both pass by as well as those you share the adventure with.
Life is impermanent. Sometimes things change suddenly without warning and our world can fall apart. However, the opposite is also true. Sometimes things change suddenly and our world pieces together. I love exploring and adventure. Exploring allows me to broaden my perspective by meeting new people and hearing their stories along the way. Being a 4K rider will allow me to see so many new places and meet so many new people. I often get laughed at by my family and friends for not exactly "having a plan." I prefer going with the flow and seeing where life takes me. While sometimes that gets me into trouble, I am a wanderer. I am traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults to spread awareness and make a difference in whatever way I can along the journey.
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!
|Kaye Haskins||02/19/2019||$100.00||Sounds like an amazing experience. God speed!||Linda Mahne||02/18/2019||$100.00||I wish you a successful and safe journey and thank you for your compassion in taking on such an endeavor!||Drew Shafer||02/17/2019||$50.00||Hope you have a soft seat :-) Enjoy and good luck!||Jacob and Marcey Shafer||02/17/2019||$50.00||Nice work! Enjoy the ride.||Jean Hayes||02/15/2019||$100.00||Good luck and have a safe trip!||Debra Bing||02/15/2019||$100.00||Safe journey and take lots of pictures!||Heather & Brian Griesbach||02/07/2019||$250.00||You are definitely a wanderer :) but we love you for it! Sure this will be an incredible and memorable experience that you will carry with you always. Can't wait to greet you at the end in Seattle and hear all about it!||Colby Fronk||02/05/2019||$50.00||Brandon, have an adventure of a lifetime while supporting such a great cause!||Scott Humski||02/05/2019||$10.00||It may get Wheely Wheely hard, but keep going. If your bike hurts you don't punch it back, it'll become a vicious cycle. XD have fun.||Chris and Dave Hayes||02/02/2019||$200.00||What an adventure and such a worthy cause. Enjoy the ride!||Stephen Wong||02/01/2019||$100.00||Good luck Brandon!! It is an amazing experience and something truly life-changing! The Ulman Foundation is very lucky to have such a great leader and I know you will make a strong impact for young adults and cancer survivors across the US.||Ryan Le Tourneau||02/01/2019||$50.00||John Stelmack||02/01/2019||$25.00||Devon Fulmer||02/01/2019||$40.00||What an awesome, life changing experience! I wish I could give more. I can’t wait to see you change the world with your passion and dedication to helping others.||Brandon Hayes||01/18/2019||$100.00|