Grace Burud is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 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 New York City, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I never thought that August 25, 2008, would ever come. Not the actual date itself-- but more so what that day became. When I scrambled into that front office, rain dripping down my glasses, my eyes met that distinctive handbag. The handbag that belonged to my mother didn’t make sense here in this setting. Something was unequivocally wrong with this situation. As she told me that my father was gone, my only reaction was to ask her, “You’re kidding, right?” A horribly stupid thing to ask, but all the same, an honest question. The utter shock associated with that grim reality was earth shattering. Right before my nine-year old eyes, my beloved mother transformed into Atlas, the world on her shoulders; she seemed to convey a terrifying uncertainty about how to move forward.
I spent those next few hours in utter disbelief. The man who would throw me in the lake and off the inter-tube with fits of uncontrollable laughter was nowhere to be found. His omnipresent easy smile and unassuming humor was dashed away with him, no longer easily found. With him the summer afternoons smelling of freshly-cut grass spent in the garage eating popsicles and the lyrically-mangled performances of my favorite songs like “Pictures of You” by The Last Goodnight and “Snow” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, faded away.
My mornings of cleaning and changing his bandages suddenly halted. The man that ruled from his Lazy Boy throne, fighting to never let cancer define him had been unfairly conquered. However, the battle had been a valiant one where fear was conquered until the very end, slain by sheer courage. I grew up secure, even within the confines of the hospital, lacking fear about the situation, always assuming his next day would come. People always plead for miracles of healing, but that in and of itself —to grow without fear and only in love and courage— is truly miraculous.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
From my experience with my dad's death, my focus has turned to supporting and effecting change within the cancer community. This summer, I will run the 4,000 miles so that no young person may fight alone and so that my contributions may hopefully ease their suffering in any way. As an undergraduate student with aspirations of becoming a doctor one day, creating change in the present can be more of an obstacle than the in the future. So for me, this 4K For Cancer is how I can create change now, while furthering my character and my ultimate goal of benefiting the cancer community.
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!
|Susan and Kevin Gibbons||09/21/2017||$500.00||Grace, We are so happy to support you as you embark on this amazing experience for such an important cause. You are a remarkable young lady.||Maeve Sheehey||09/15/2017||$25.00||I literally have been meaning to donate until now, so I'm sorry for taking so long! I think that it's so cool that you're doing this! Way to go, Grace!||Dave, Suzanne and Taylor Buck||09/13/2017||$100.00||Good luck Grace!!||Tina Ruffolo||09/13/2017||$50.00||Hi, Grace. What an amazing undertaking to make this run for such a wonderful cause. In honor of Robby's birthday today, he asked that we support your efforts - which we are happy to do! All the best to you & we look forward to meeting you at UNC Family Weekend in October.||Uwa Akhere||09/09/2017||$25.00||I love you and I'm so proud of you Grace! <3<3||Robert Burud||09/07/2017||$500.00||We are very proud of you Grace.||Michael Gibbons||09/07/2017||$50.00||I'm so proud of you Grace, you're gonna do amazing!||Paula Ellis||09/06/2017||$100.00||So proud of you! Go Grace!!||Gretchen Bottrill||09/06/2017||$1,000.00||Your dad is so proud of you!||Clare Gibbons||09/06/2017||$25.00||Good luck, Grace!||Cindy Grim||09/06/2017||$500.00||What a wonderful way to honor your Dad, Grace!||Karen Klemm-Cashion||09/06/2017||$100.00||We're behind you Grace! -Karen and Tim, Kevin and Katie||Grace Burud||08/18/2017||$100.00|