Cristal Ortega is a senior at the Dominican University. In the summer of 2017, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore, MD to San Francisco, CA, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My connection to the cancer community is that I am a cancer survivor. At 20 years old I was diagnosed with stage III soft tissue Ewing's Sarcoma on December 29, 2014 while studying abroad in Spain. I was told I was in remission on March 1, 2016. I went through 17 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of daily radiation, and a major surgery on April 29, 2016 that left me with a bowel obstruction which caused me to get a PEG tube which was removed on August 3, 2016, and my port was recently removed on December 23, 2016. During my cancer journey, I met several cancer patients and cancer survivors. It was a rough road and some fallen soldiers went as I fought but they'll always be heroes.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
This summer I will be traveling 4,000 miles on a bike and fundraising $4,500 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. I will be doing this to show cancer that I have control of my life. I want to show cancer that even though it took 2 years of my life, that I can still rise up and get back on my feet. I call the shots in my life, NOT cancer. I want to ride 4,000 miles to give others hope. I want to show other cancer patients that they too can overcome this monster. I'm also fundraising $4,500 so other cancer survivors can get the resources necessary to get back on their feet. Survivorship is just as difficult as treatment. The fight doesn't end when you get told you're in remission. Young adults need all the help possible while they're working on getting back on their feet. Thanks to the Ulman Cancer Fund I was able to participate in Cancer to 5k which helped me get back into running and feeling in control of my life. I want other cancer survivors to get the same opportunities that I got. Your donation will make a big impact in the cancer community and you will be helping other young adults (just like me) to get back on their feet.
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!
|Bob & Darlene Carpio||07/07/2017||$50.00||God Bless you and safe travels. What an awesome undertaking.||Michael Miller||07/03/2017||$150.00||Shelli Richard||07/02/2017||$30.00||In support of Felice Maciejewski's friend's cancer journeys. Felice is the mother of my high school friend!||Liz Gilstrap||06/28/2017||$30.00||What an inspiration you all are. Cristal, it was so much fun meeting you yesterday in Kansas City : ) Safe and fun travels to you!||Anonymous Friend||06/28/2017||$40.00||Safe travel!!||Judy Mattox||06/27/2017||$30.00||You blessed our home! Praying for you daily on your journey. Share your testimony with the world . Tony and Judy Mattox||Sue Ponremy||06/27/2017||$100.00||All the best on your journey -- you make us proud. Sue Ponremy||Karen Hand||06/27/2017||$50.00||You are AMAZING! Keep yourself healthy and safe on this long trek and thanks for representing cancer survivors so fiercely!||Stephanie Tovar||06/22/2017||$30.00||You're awesome Cristal! Keep up the great work!||John McNett||06/20/2017||$100.00||So proud of you, Cristal, for your courage to take on yet another challenging adventure. You are a true Dominican Star!||KRISTINE SVACHULA||06/09/2017||$25.00||This is an amazing thing you have dedicated yourself to doing! Have a great ride!||Dennis Ducosin||06/08/2017||$25.00||Hi, Cristal. This is Duke (the Conductor on the Amtrak train who looks like Bruno Mars). You are such an inspiration to me. I admire you so much. Good luck on your 4K For Cancer. I know that you'll do great. Remember, whatever happens, happens.||Catherine Galarza-Espino||06/05/2017||$150.00||Thank you for making a difference. You are a true inspiration. Have a great time on your ride. Just remember to "keep moving forward".||Rosa Ortega||06/04/2017||$20.00||Tyler Gulick||06/04/2017||$50.00||Good Luck Cristal!||Anonymous Friend||05/29/2017||$10.00||From a fellow Dominican University Latino alumna (whose also from Cicero). Have fun!||Carol Wolfe||05/24/2017||$25.00||You are awesome!!!! Have a great time!!!||Lily Ibarra||05/15/2017||$100.00||¡Eres una guerrillera, Cristal! Ha sido un placer conocerte y aun más tenerte como mi estudiante. ¡Te deseo mucha suerte y ganas!||Jessica Mackinnon||05/10/2017||$100.00||You inspire all of us here at Dominican University. You're carrying caritas out into the world!||Katie Ross||05/09/2017||$100.00||Have an amazing summer! You're going to give hope to and inspire so many people you meet on your journey. ~Katie (4K San Fran '04 & '06)||Tiffany Gramarossa||05/08/2017||$75.00||You got this! Love you! Woo!||Steve Stryker||05/07/2017||$500.00||Just read about you in Mary Schmich's column. Congrats on the graduation! You're my hero!!!||Mike Harvey||05/07/2017||$100.00||You continue to inspire! Thanks, Mary Schmich!!||Yessenia Alvarado||05/06/2017||$300.00||Happy Graduation present!! I'm so proud of you and everything that you have overcome! This gift is from fam Alvarado||Madeline McDermott||05/06/2017||$10.00||Jessica Velazquez||05/06/2017||$20.00||So happy for you!||Brian Manjarrez||05/06/2017||$5.00||Well since we are past $4995 a promise is a promise. Now can we get Stan's lol||Esperanza Ibarra||05/06/2017||$75.00||Not only did I read your story, but took the time to read a few stories from a couple other runners/bikers. What you and everyone else is doing is amazing. Fighting your own battle was a hardship and yet you'll still be helping others with inspiration to fight theirs. You are extraordinary, Cristal.||Yvonne McBee||05/06/2017||$50.00||I hope you have an amazing ride!!!||Clint Moyers||05/06/2017||$50.00||Vinu Vazhakoottathil||05/02/2017||$10.00||Bike hard, Cristal!||Erica Roberts||05/01/2017||$30.00||So glad our paths have crossed. So sad that it was cancer that brought us together.||Jasmin Lugo||05/01/2017||$50.00||Go Cristal Go! I want to hear about your experience when you come back.||Joseph Zavala||04/30/2017||$50.00||Keep being an inspiration, I love seeing your progress and your acheivements.||Joanna Rzepka||04/30/2017||$10.00||Way to go Cristal, proud of you!!!||Evelyn Patlan||04/29/2017||$20.00||Jennifer Camacho||04/29/2017||$25.00||Way to go Cristal!!! For pushing yourself to get through anything. So intriguing of you to be doing this to help so many others!!! Best of luck!!||Isaura Gonzalez||04/28/2017||$10.00||❤❤||Mayra Gaona||04/28/2017||$20.00||You're awesome! Go Cristal!||Terri Shimkus||04/25/2017||$20.00||Tim and Susan Hannigan||04/21/2017||$75.00||You are an inspiration. We wish you safe travels with smooth roads. Please ride a mile for Susan's best friend who lost her battle with multiple myeloma at age 52. Her husband, children and grandchildren miss her every day. She has a new grandson on the way, due in August 2017.||Claudia Saucedo||04/20/2017||$25.00||Trudi Goggin Sue Kaszynski||04/18/2017||$100.00||Go Cristal ride with our love and support!!! You make us so proudly Dominican!||Anonymous Friend||04/17/2017||$50.00||Go, Cristal, go! You're such an inspiring person. Thank you for doing this work.||Adriana Rocha||04/16/2017||$25.00||Jennifer Arce||04/15/2017||$50.00||Excited to follow your journey :)||Christina Meza||04/14/2017||$30.00||You're such an inspiration! Keep it up, Cristal. You're almost at your goal.||Bill Sullivan||04/14/2017||$50.00||Go get 'em Cristal!! Have a great time. Remember to coast on the way down the hills and enjoy your swim in the Pacific.||Yesica Garcia||04/14/2017||$50.00||Veronica Tovar||04/13/2017||$25.00||You're so awesome! I'm so proud of you!! At the end of the bike ride you're gonna be like "new legs, who dis" lol||Cynthia Pines||04/13/2017||$20.00||Good luck Cristal!||Andrea Guzman||04/10/2017||$10.00||Carlos Padilla||04/09/2017||$50.00||Best of luck Cristal! I'm glad to see you're still the determined person I've met since Freshman year!||The Northside Community Bank||04/05/2017||$150.00||Felice Maciejewski||04/04/2017||$75.00||You are an inspiration! Looking forward to hearing about your journey.||Michelle Kania||04/04/2017||$25.00||Good luck Cristal. Let me know if you need a partner for a weekend ride.||Gloria Pagan||04/03/2017||$50.00||Debbie Ozanic||04/01/2017||$30.00||Good luck!!||Ken Pyburn||03/31/2017||$50.00||Tim Drews||03/29/2017||$100.00||I am happy to hear that you are doing well Cristal. Good luck on your biking trip!||Emmanuel Sanchez||03/29/2017||$10.00||You inspire||Monica Kenar||03/27/2017||$20.00||Guadalupe Chavez||03/27/2017||$100.00||Thanks for raising money for such a great cause.||Melinda Zaviska||03/25/2017||$25.00||You are truly an inspiration, Cristal. Good luck on your journey.||Peter Tess||03/22/2017||$50.00||Good Luck in this inspiring endeavor.||Heather Mares||03/21/2017||$20.00||Get it, Girl! Sending some C25k and YAAC love!!!!||Brianne Kennedy-Brooks||03/13/2017||$50.00||Cristal, I'm so proud of you for going from "I don't run" to biking across the country. You are strong, beautiful and a fierce little fighter. THANK YOU for being YOU!||Mia Luna||03/08/2017||$10.00||Thank you for the cookies :)||Brandon Hernandez||03/07/2017||$100.00||Stay inspired and inspiring. Best of luck on this adventure and whatever adventure comes next!||Jennifer Gnerlich||03/07/2017||$50.00||Cristal - I am inspired by your determination and courage. I am honored to support you spreading courage and hope to others battling cancer!||Tina Goethe||03/06/2017||$50.00||Wishing you all the best on your journey. You are such an inspiration!||Jenny Aguayo||03/06/2017||$20.00||Thank you for being such an awesome role model!||Jill Topf||03/06/2017||$100.00||Best of luck to you! You are an inspiration.||Mary Masterson||03/04/2017||$200.00||Jerry Davis||03/04/2017||$50.00||Good luck with your ride.It has been great spinning with you on Saturdays and I look forward to hearing about your adventure.||Maribel Rosales||03/02/2017||$150.00||Gerardo Rosales||03/02/2017||$100.00||Kristin Shulman||03/02/2017||$25.00||You are an amazing young woman doing good things in this world. So glad to have met you through Cancer to 5K!||Jean Barbato||03/02/2017||$50.00||I am moved by your desire to make what you went through easier on the next person.||Kate and Jerry Smith||03/01/2017||$50.00||Thanks for your inspiration to all of us who have been touched by your story as well as our own!!! You are awesome! God speed!||Morgan Zaviska||03/01/2017||$50.00||Go Cristal, you are awesome for taking on this challenge! I believe in you and know you are going to succeed at this, you're such an inspiration! :)||Phil Cantor||02/28/2017||$20.00||My 15 year-old daughter has a nasty case of pelvic osteosarcoma. I wish you the best on your ride and hope that she'll be doing a ride like this in the future. You ROCK!||Anna Tess||02/28/2017||$50.00||Good Luck! You'll do great! Hope to hear more about it at run club. : )||Kurt Bollnow||02/28/2017||$100.00||Go Cristal. You are an inspiration in Run Club||Tim Fox||02/28/2017||$25.00||Amsted Industries||02/23/2017||$50.00||All Loyola Onc Peeps||02/22/2017||$50.00||Cristal, we think about you every day. We're so happy that you're healthy and don't mind at all that you're making us feel lime a bunch of lazy slobs.||Andrea Leinweber||02/22/2017||$25.00||You are a rockstar Cristal! Way to go!!||Robert E O'Connor||02/21/2017||$25.00||Elissa Durso Fischer||02/21/2017||$20.00||Anjali Chaudhry||02/17/2017||$50.00||Veronica Tovar||02/16/2017||$25.00||From not being able to run a lap around the track to this. You're a BEAST! you got this! Please dedicate 1 mile to my little cousin Emily to who lose her battle to cancer in 2009.||Gerardo Nava||02/14/2017||$250.00||My friend recently lost he's life to a brain tumor that took he's life after over a year of fighting and I'm making this payment to support a friend and a cause that may help others in the long run who have been fighting and deserve the opportunity to live||Martha Hunter||02/14/2017||$25.00||I wish I could donate more cousin but as you know I'm going through a different struggle due to Chiari! I hope this helps some. I'm proud of you! Your a beautiful, smart. kind, and resilient women! Love you!||Steve Harrington||02/13/2017||$50.00||Every little bit helps, right?||Anne Drougas||02/13/2017||$60.00||Mia Luna||02/13/2017||$20.00||You're such an inspiration. Keep doing great things! Best of luck!||Xiolmara Martinez||02/09/2017||$10.00||Thank you for doing this!!||Feyza Yazar||02/09/2017||$50.00||Cristal, I will always support you and I am forever in your debt for your help. I am so happy I met you that day in clinic, and your strength and perseverance will always be an inspiration to me. I wish you the best in your trip and in all your future endeavors.||Michael Kiyosaki||02/06/2017||$250.00||Rene Ozanic||02/06/2017||$50.00||You are kicking cancer's butt girl! Ride like the wind :) (my company will match this for you too)||Michelle Lopez||02/04/2017||$50.00||Molly Akers||02/03/2017||$100.00||Go Crystal, you keep rocking more every day. We love you! Cancer to 5k/TEAM CHI||Maria Simpkins||02/03/2017||$50.00||Kick ass Cristal!!!!||Kathleen Odell||01/31/2017||$100.00||Go Cristal!||Richard Walstra||01/31/2017||$100.00||You will have an incredible journey across the country! "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."||Maryalyce Burke||01/31/2017||$50.00||James Miller||01/30/2017||$300.00||Stephanie Salazar||01/30/2017||$15.00||You're the strongest person I know! You've got this!||Anita Trainor||01/30/2017||$25.00||Way to go Cristal! Love, Anita*||Gary Clay||01/25/2017||$25.00||GO CRISTAL GO!! :)||Adilenne Ramirez||01/23/2017||$20.00||You're amazing!!!||Abigail Romo||01/23/2017||$5.00||Such an inspiration!||Donald Mason||01/16/2017||$25.00||So proud of you for going on this 4000+ mile journey, Cristal!||Allison Schultz||01/16/2017||$25.00||Cristal Ortega||12/25/2016||$100.00|