Emily Winson is a senior at The Ohio State University. In the summer of 2019, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco to Boston, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
During February 2013, my sophomore year of high school, I received a call from my mom that shook my world. My aunt Susanne, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 53. I was devastated. I was unable to fathom how my aunt, seemingly so healthy and vibrant, could be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Susanne began treatment in Boston. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and numerous clinical trials. Her love for life never wavered as she and her husband continued to travel as much as they could despite the severity of her illness. The next year was a series of ups and downs as the mass in her lungs would shrink in size due to the treatments, yet seem to outsmart the medications the next week and grow. Susanne’s health deteriorated rapidly around Thanksgiving 2014. The clinical trial drugs were not working. The cancerous lesions were also found in her brain and lymph nodes. Susanne lost her battle to lung cancer on April 5th, 2015. It was Easter Sunday. Losing Susanne was the most painful experience, yet I will always be inspired by her strength, courage, and zest for life.
Susanne was not the only family member who I have lost to cancer. I never had the opportunity to meet my grandfather. He passed away from lung cancer when my father was 27 years old. Despite never having the opportunity to meet him, my dad and grandma have shared numerous stories about his character and how he would have been so proud of his grandchildren. I eagerly await the day where people will not feel the pain of watching a loved one fight cancer or lose a battle to cancer.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
The summer of 2019 will be a period of lineal space for me as I will be graduating from The Ohio State University in May and attending graduate school in the fall. Before I begin the next phase of my life, I have the time and opportunity to pursue a transformational experience while bettering the lives of others and dedicating myself to a cause that has impacted my life and the lives of many others.
Ever since my freshmen year of college when I first heard about 4K For Cancer, I was intrigued. 4K For Cancer’s mission and values resonate within me for many reasons. Cancer is a disease that does not discriminate. Its effects can be seen in every American city and town. Running across America is symbolic to the cause because it is a way of uplifting those affected from many backgrounds. By providing courage kits to young adults, I would have the opportunity to brighten the day of those affected. Through hearing and sharing the stories of those affected by cancer with others, I would be able to better make connections and raise more money to help end this disease. I strongly believe that education is the greatest gift a person can receive. Young adults battling cancer face many hurdles when it comes to obtaining a higher education experience. The opportunity to deliver Ulman scholarships to young adults in order to help alleviate any financial burdens would be rewarding and meaningful. By running across America, I would have the privilege to make meaningful connections with those whose paths I cross and spread the mission and values of this organization.
In summary, I am traveling on this 4,000 mile journey of a lifetime for those who are fighting, have lost the fight, and those that have beaten the fight. I am running for my Aunt Susanne and for my grandfather. I am running for my friends whose live have been impacted for cancer. I am running to spread awareness, raise hope, and fund research. I am running to find a cure to end the disease that steals lives.
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!
|Uyi Uwadiae||06/17/2019||$50.00||What you're doing is amazing!||Connie and Greg Mead||06/16/2019||$100.00||Jeff Rolf||06/05/2019||$75.00||Ross Family||06/05/2019||$100.00||Very admirable, Emily.||The Lawler Family||06/04/2019||$100.00||Best of luck in this challenge and in all of your future endeavors!||Tess Pacer||04/19/2019||$20.00||Threes Above High||04/16/2019||$80.00||Bryan Coyne||04/15/2019||$500.00||Emily - I cannot tell you how proud I am of you and what you're doing to help the fight against cancer...and I absolutely know your Aunt Susanne is beaming with pride and love for you and everything you're doing in your life. Please know your Aunt Susanne will be with you every step of your journey. Love, Uncle Bryan||Mariette Benage||04/11/2019||$50.00||Go get it, Emily!! :)||Debi Richards||04/11/2019||$50.00||Good luck! Excited you will be finishing in Boston!||Denise Sheridan||04/02/2019||$50.00||Wow!! So proud of you.||Sydney Brown||03/18/2019||$50.00||You're amazing! I can't wait to follow along with your journey.||Joey Zarba||03/14/2019||$20.00||You're an amazing girl and I'm so proud of you for doing this.||Marian Winson||02/08/2019||$300.00||Emily, this is an amazing undertaking. Very proud of you.||Andy & Liz Winson||02/08/2019||$500.00||Emily, this is an amazing challenge you're undertaking. Can't wait to see you finish in Boston! Love, Mom & Dad||Sarah Hovest||11/21/2018||$15.00||Good luck!!||Francine Johns||11/19/2018||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||11/18/2018||$500.00||Emily, proud to support you in order to bring attention and raise funds to fight this terrible disease.||Anonymous Friend||11/15/2018||$100.00||Kathryn Larson||11/15/2018||$25.00||Happy to support another cause to defeat cancer. Run, Emily, run!||Natalie Englert||11/15/2018||$100.00||Dear Emily, I'm so proud of you. Your story was so beautifully written. Love, Grandma Natalie||Laurie Silver||11/15/2018||$100.00||Way to go Emily!||Emily Winson||08/01/2018||$100.00|