James Burden is a junior at the University of Texas Austin. In the summer of 2018, he 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?
My first connection with the cancer community comes from when my dad started his struggle against colon cancer, which included multiple surgeries and several months of chemotherapy. However, since I was only in 2nd grade, I only knew the simple fact that my dad was sick, but I had no doubt he would overcome it because of how strong my dad acted around me. Reflecting on that time now, 13 years later, I can only imagine how difficult it was to work through chemotherapy and cancer itself while continuing to act as a strong father figure for an eight-year-old son. Thankfully, my father recovered from his cancer. However, cancer claimed a life from my family when I was a teenager – my grandfather died of lung cancer when I was 13.
Soon after I signed up to be a part of the 4K though, cancer really rocked me in a way I didn't expect. Bailey Sikorski was an aerospace engineernig major at UT Austin, and he served as my orientation advisor and my RA. He even helped me make my first college schedule and was a constant encouragement for me, especially in freshment year. In spring 2017, Bailey was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and he passed away that fall. Bailey would have graduated this past May, and I want to dedicate my run to Bailey's life and impact on me and so many others. I am beyond excited and humbled by the chance to actively come alongside the cancer community and honor my dad, grandfather, and Bailey.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
When I first heard of the 4K for Cancer run, I knew I had to go for it. For me, this opportunity is like a fantasy whisked into reality due to both its purpose and goal. As a confessed running addict for the past 8 years, the prospect of running across the country and seeing the world in a new way with a team still feels surreal. Having teammates and friends to push each other and hold each other accountable is perhaps one of the greatest and most priceless pleasures in life, especially while pursuing a common purpose such as supporting young adults in their fights against cancer. Ultimately though, the foundation of why I want to run the 4K lies in the connections I will make on this journey. Connecting brings meaning to our interactions with others, and connecting emotionally and physically with my teammates and with the communities we visit will be what defines the 4K for me. I hope that the sum of all the connections I forge on a daily basis will make the 4K an unforgettable, impactful experience for me that I can use to encourage others affected by cancer in the future and honor those like my friend Bailey who have suffered or died from cancer. Let's kick cancer in the butt!
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!
|Katie Na||09/02/2018||$20.00||You’re selfless, caring, and passionate, homie. Truly an inspiration!!!||Melanie Looper||09/01/2018||$10.00||Freaking love this!!!||Sharon Campbell||06/22/2018||$50.00||James, wishing you continued luck on your cross country journey! I am honored to have met you (along with your folks) and been your lodging Host on the start of this incredible relay in San Francisco. Godspeed!||Klarissa Lou||06/04/2018||$25.00||Good luck James! Can't wait to hear all about it!||Anonymous Friend||05/30/2018||$10.00||Maxwell Newton||05/28/2018||$75.00||Proud to call you my friend! I am excited to hear about your grand adventure, and let's kick cancer in the butt! - Maxwell||William P Roberts||05/27/2018||$500.00||Always glad to help a fellow Longhorn! Enjoy the run and making new friends. Bob Roberts, UT BBA '69, MBA '70. Parents of former rider Jamie #20||James Burden||04/20/2018||$100.00||First Round of T-shirt Fundraising||Anonymous Friend||04/04/2018||$70.00||Cash donations - $30 from Susie Weir, $10 each from Judy Graham, Gwen Hodges, Charlotte Strickland, and Janet Boone||Megan LaMonica||03/28/2018||$25.00||It is so awesome that you are doing this. I hope you have an amazing time.:)||Anonymous Friend||03/28/2018||$25.00||R D Scott||03/28/2018||$100.00||Susan Sanko||03/26/2018||$150.00||Be safe and drink plenty of fluids!||James Burden||03/16/2018||$100.00||Amogh Krishnagiri||02/19/2018||$5.00||Looking forward to hearing about your experience this summer buddy! Proud of you, as always. Lucky to know you!||Kausthub Poondi||02/13/2018||$25.00||You're a legend James! Good luck!||Caroline Young||02/12/2018||$20.00||So excited for you and this journey! Keep on running the race well!||Alan Stepchinski||01/26/2018||$50.00||You're an amazing and inspirational human being, and I wish you the best of luck this summer!||William Valero||01/25/2018||$20.00||Go have fun man! High praise to you for doing this!||Kevin Quist||01/25/2018||$12.00||Marti Halbrook||01/15/2018||$50.00||Good Luck in your journey!||James Burden||01/04/2018||$25.00||Donation on behalf of Nate Smith! Thanks, Nate!||James Burden||12/28/2017||$100.00||Donation from the Henson Family||Jamie Harris||12/24/2017||$200.00||Great work James. We love you and thanks for being such a great guy. Jamie||Vanguard Charitable||12/21/2017||$500.00||Diana Walla||12/18/2017||$200.00||We are so proud of you, James, for taking on such a good cause. Have an amazing adventure!||James E Burden||12/18/2017||$700.00||Gloria Scott||12/09/2017||$100.00||B. Cade||12/04/2017||$100.00||Mark Nelson||12/02/2017||$100.00||James, the Nelsons are proud of you and strongly support your endeavor. Run hard. Run swift. Run well. Blessings.||Laurie Billings||12/02/2017||$200.00||Chris Mayfield||12/02/2017||$50.00||Robin and David Berry||12/01/2017||$100.00||Good Luck James! We are very proud of you!||LAURA CULVER||11/29/2017||$25.00||Good luck this summer, James!||Debbie Burden||11/28/2017||$1,000.00||James, we are so proud of you and your quest to fight cancer. You are an amazing young man. We love you bunches.||Anonymous Friend||11/13/2017||$400.00||Excited about your adventure! Our prayers and support are with you!||June Turner Hudson||10/19/2017||$100.00||James, You are a brave warrior to take on this challenge! We are cheering your victory!! Joshua 1:9 & Phillipians 4:13||Jared Walla||09/07/2017||$50.00||Hey James, I think it is great you are doing this. If you don't run your best I'm dueling you in smash!||Anonymous Friend||09/05/2017||$100.00||Ruun James! Ruuuuuuun!||James Burden||07/21/2017||$100.00|