Joey Grimmond is a graduate of The University of Nebraska - Lincoln. In the summer of 2019, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco to Baltimore raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I seek a career in medicine, and I believe that cancers and other life-altering diseases force individuals to confront what we all take for granted on a second-to-second basis, our health. I am two years cancer free as of May 2019, but I'll never forget what a paradigm shift it was for me to have to realign my priorities all overnight. Thankfully, my friends, family, and their resilience supported through my conflict, and my experience was an overall positive one, in that I have grown as an individual because of it. But I understand that cancer isn't a homogeneous experience, and I want to take advantage of opportunities to affect lives when they most need it, as so many did for me.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
Like any great cause, you do it for a multitude of different reasons. For me the list includes: Giving back for my renewed chance at life, meeting new people and forming meaningful relationships, serving the community, providing support for those affected by cancer, being a positive role model for others, looking after my own health, and seeing the United States like I will never have the opportunity to again.
I would say even more meaningful to me than anything I have already listed is the idea of carrying on the memory of someone who has passed away. I received the John Hanley Memorial Scholarship in the summer of 2018. Yesterday, March 17th, 2019, I looked to see who else had received awards last summer, and I was taken aback by what I saw. A woman name Kristen Kuhn also received the same scholarship the previous summer. I met Kristen in the fall of 2014 when we were both freshmen at UNL trying to figure out the basics of Gen. Chem 109. It turned out we would go on to have multiple classes together. We didn't know one another well before the conflicts we had with our health, but we both knew of each other during and after our stints with our diseases.
I'll never forget going to the bar after my treatment ended and walking out and seeing her there. She was wearing a blonde wig and was smiling from ear to ear. We made eye contact from a dozen feet away from one another. I remember the exchange seeming like it lasted for minutes, but I know in reality, that it must have only been 20-30 seconds that had passed between us. The memory is so vivid because I felt frozen in place and time; in front of me was someone who I could genuinely relate to more than words could describe, but I didn't know what to say to her, and so I didn't speak. I could tell she was somewhat taken aback as well, because there we stood, silently staring at one another for a pseudo-eternity. I ended up leaving with friends, but for the remainder of the night and the following days, all I could think about were the conversations about our experiences that I knew I had to have with her in the future. ... Unfortunately, Kristen passed away shortly after I saw her, and I never managed to see her again. She was an amazing woman, and I often think about her life and the impact that night has had on me. I am traveling 4,000 miles in memory of Kristen, and for anyone who has lost all opportunities to ever speak to a friend or family member because of this disease.
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!
|Brandon Hahn||04/11/2019||$25.00||Have a good time!||Andrew Mohama||04/10/2019||$50.00||"Never underestimate the difference you can make in the life of one person" I am so excited for you to experience this journey, one that is life-changing in many ways. You have an inspirational story, and I know that you will form some of the most beautiful relationships during your time across the country. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. Sending love and good energy your way.||Christopher (Joey) Grimmond||04/06/2019||$300.00||Aaron Drennon||03/26/2019||$20.00||bet||Elizabeth Grimmond||03/23/2019||$100.00||Can't wait to see the pictures of your adventure!! Love you, Joey!||Melissa Layher||03/21/2019||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||03/20/2019||$25.00||This is an awesome adventure. I hope you see the most beautiful parts of the country and think of all those you are helping along the way. Good luck!||Christopher (Joey) Grimmond||03/18/2019||$100.00|