Isabelle Stern is a senior at Virginia Tech. In the summer of 2018 she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4,000+ mile run from San Francisco to Baltimore, raising money and awareness for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
Kganya, one of my best friends in middle school battled Leukemia for nearly three years, and she passed away five years ago at the age of 16. My Uncle Richard battled kidney cancer for the past two years, and passed away earlier this year when he was only 53. A few other family members have fought cancer, and luckily, a few of them are survivors. Cancer has taken some of the best people from life all too soon. Since Kganya’s passing, I have raised money for cancer research through Play 4 the Cure field hockey games to benefit the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and I have been committed to Relay for Life at Virginia Tech for the past three years.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I want to be a runner with the 4K because running and seeing the country by foot would be an incredible way for me to keep their memories and passions alive, while combining them with my own passions for travel and running. I think the best way to learn about the world is by meeting as many people in it as I can, and I would be honored to meet the young cancer patients and their families. I love meeting new people and seeking adventures, and this experience would challenge me in thrilling ways to reach incredible goals with my teammates.
Both Kganya and Uncle Richard were the happiest people I have ever met with the most innate sense of curiosity and adventure for the world. Kganya reached out to everyone she saw—stranger or not, and her desire to help others find happiness was truly inspiring. Travelling was so important to Uncle Richard, and he always challenged me to travel far and love widely. There is so much to learn, and he wanted to be connected to others globally as much as possible. When I saw him for the last time in hospice earlier this spring, he begged me to pursue my passions regardless of any obstacles that came about and to learn as much about other people through travel as I possibly could.
Since I was little, running has been one of my favorite activities because it allows me to see the world as an amazing journey that other forms of transportation and travel do not allow as well. When I run, I feel truly connected to the people I encounter, to the community and environment through which I run, and my thoughts. Running brings out my best self and makes me truly excited to take on life’s challenges.
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!
|Laura Wagner||08/20/2017||$50.00||Great work Isabelle!||Abby Russo||08/19/2017||$15.00||This is such an amazing project! Good luck!!||Charles Lane||08/17/2017||$145.00||Isabelle, I'm glad the Yoga class turned out so well. Thank you for the opportunity to donate to such a great cause. I wish you the best of luck in your run! Gratefully, Charlie||William Stern||08/14/2017||$36.00||Isabelle, This is only to round out your first thousand dollars. Richard would be proud of you. Obviously, much more to come from us.||Richmond Branch ASCE||08/08/2017||$150.00||Good luck!||Sally Kaplan||08/07/2017||$45.00||Natalie Bailey||08/06/2017||$15.00||Good Luck!!||Leah Gillespie||08/02/2017||$20.00||I was inspired by the article on you in the Wyndham Wire. Thank you for raising awareness for an important cause. Best wishes to you on your journey!||Anonymous Friend||07/29/2017||$100.00||Liz Freund||07/25/2017||$15.00||Best of Luck||Michael Bishop||07/24/2017||$55.00||Happy running.||Anonymous Friend||07/21/2017||$10.00||Carrie Nowlan||07/20/2017||$35.00||Merrill Milani||07/19/2017||$30.00||Carly Railing||07/16/2017||$20.00||So proud of you Isabelle!! Keep being awesome you rock and good luck!||Gabrielle Bomberg||07/14/2017||$10.00||Best of luck on this incredible journey!||Anonymous Friend||07/13/2017||$10.00||Erin Knape||07/12/2017||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||07/12/2017||$40.00||Gabrielle Vance||06/29/2017||$20.00||Jinx You Owe Me A... Cinnamon Role Nice Twist Bro!||06/29/2017||$18.00||Really incredible what you are doing! Have an amazing time, and be sure to make lots of people smile along the way!!||Anonymous Friend||06/29/2017||$20.00||Anonymous Friend||06/28/2017||$15.00||Merrill Milani||06/21/2017||$40.00||Lindsay Mullins||06/13/2017||$10.00||You're so awesome!!||Josh Disney||06/12/2017||$20.00||Lauren Hein||06/12/2017||$20.00||Jonathan Wertheim||05/16/2017||$36.00||Emmie Lacy||04/29/2017||$10.00||Thank you for honoring sweet Kganyga and wishing you the best of luck on your journey next summer!!!! I hope you reach your goal :)||Michelle Oelsner||04/28/2017||$50.00||You are making a difference! Don't stop!!!!||Isabelle Stern||04/26/2017||$100.00|