Kai Olson is a sophomore at University of St. Thomas. In the summer of 2019, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore to Seattle, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My first experience with cancer was with my neighbor, Gary Bill. He and his wife lived a couple doors down from me. As I spent more time with them, we grew closer and it felt as though I had gained another set of grandparents. Mr. Bill mentored me in using tools, home improvement projects, how to tie a tie for my first dance, and how to be a respectable young man. I knew since early on that he had prostate cancer, but I chose to push it to the back of my mind and ignore it. As time went on, the visits became shorter as he was feeling more ill. He passed away too early. I still think of Mr. Bill often, and I miss him very much.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
When my friend Spencer Polk told me about his ride with the Ulman Foundation two summers ago, it immediately struck a chord in me. I love biking, and to raise money and awareness for a cause so important at the same time sounded like a unique and wonderful opportunity. I look forward to meeting many people and making a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, while learning a lot about myself and growing as an individual.
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!
|Rick and Linda York||08/04/2019||$100.00||Wonderful to meet you. Godspeed in your journey.||Susan Kieren||07/21/2019||$100.00||Christina Broeker||06/25/2019||$20.00||Rob & Kara Zielinski||06/24/2019||$100.00||Thanks for your efforts to help fund research for something that touches far too many people in everyone's world these days. Good luck and ride well!||Peter Hunter Hanson||06/24/2019||$50.00||Great job Kai!||Christine Wittman||06/24/2019||$30.00||Thank you for inspiring me to ride my bike and for your amazing leadership gifts!||Andrew Garland||06/20/2019||$25.00||Buddy of your uncle Peter||John Vipond||06/06/2019||$50.00||My older sister, Stacy, passed away of brain cancer at 15. She was, and continues to be, one of the strongest people I've ever known. May she share some of it with you during those windier, hillier slogs. Keep pedaling, Kai.||Andrew Johnson||06/03/2019||$100.00||Kai, From the first time we meet randomly at the Erik's Bike Shop in Bloomington to all the rides we've done around the Twin Cities, YOU'RE A STUD! The challenges that cancer brings is just unfair. I'm so proud of you for stepping up for a cause bigger than yourself. Ride with that passion like I know you will. See ya next fall! -Andrew||Laurie Buchberger||06/03/2019||$20.00||Hi Kai: I wanted to remember your grandfather in this donation. I know he didn't have cancer. However, you to be following an inspirational path just as he did. Thanks, Kai.||Elizabeth and Pete Falk||06/01/2019||$100.00||We are so proud of you, Kai, and we wish you a wonderful ride!||Greg Olson||05/31/2019||$150.00||Marty Johnston||05/30/2019||$50.00||Good Luck Kia||Kai Olson||05/30/2019||$25.00||From Marcella Checco! :)||Laura Kasella||05/29/2019||$20.00||This donation is from my grandma Ellie and we're both excited to follow your ride! Get ready for a summer of the best people, adventures, and memories- there's no fam like the 4K fam (-:||Sue Ley||05/26/2019||$100.00||Kai, what a commitment... and what an adventure! You will have so many stories to tell! Thank you for giving so freely of your time for such a good cause. We hope you have a safe, satisfying and wonderful trip. Sue & Mark||Jon and Kathy BROWN||05/25/2019||$50.00||We have always been so proud of you, Kai! What a great event for you to participate in! Enjoy every minute and ride safe!||Mark Olson||05/19/2019||$300.00||have a safe trip||Mia Olson||05/18/2019||$50.00||This donation is from Avalon on Grand, along with the message: “Have Fun and Be Safe!”||Jill Boyat||05/12/2019||$500.00||Kai, this gift you give of energy & time are precious. Thank you! I hope that you will be healthy and strong through out the trip. My support of you is a "pay it forward" (ask your Dad for details). As a rider I know how grand time on the bike is, envy you...||David Olson||05/12/2019||$100.00||Hey Kai! This is from your grandmother Karen Hanson. Grandma Karen Says: "Bike Safely!!!!!!!"||Anonymous Friend||05/07/2019||$25.00||What a great cause and a great experience, Kai. Best wishes!||Kai Olson||05/06/2019||$35.00||From Miranda Welte and Nikki Novitzki :)||Kai Olson||05/06/2019||$5.00||From Nick Fabry 8)||Scott Cater||05/06/2019||$100.00||Thanks for using your youthful enthusiasm for such a great cause. Ride on young man!||Cooper Gray||05/06/2019||$50.00||David Olson||05/04/2019||$10.00||This ten bucks is just so that I can write on here and say how wonderful it is to see so many cool people on Kai's space who have donated to his ride. It is so much fun to see all these names I know and both Mia and I enjoy seeing you and thank you very much.||Mia Olson||05/04/2019||$100.00||This donation is specifically in honor of my cousin Debbie Olson. I can still hear her kind voice speaking to the children in the family, such as her niece Rachel & your sister Aili (before you were born). I loved her & I thank you for riding in her honor, amongst others. I am very proud of you!||Mia Olson||05/04/2019||$10.00||Another $10 donation so that we can write on here & say thank you to all of Kai’s friends (& former teacher!) who came into Panera Bread to eat dinner for Kai’s fundraiser today! It was nice to meet you! (Kai - We also look forward to eating our pastries for breakfast!)||Anonymous Friend||04/30/2019||$240.00||Dark Side of the Loon Fundraiser 2019: Are you feeling Loonie yet?||Kai Olson||04/30/2019||$25.00||From Derrick Diedrich :)||Kai Olson||04/30/2019||$5.00||From Kaydi Hooey! :)||Tami Brown||04/28/2019||$30.00||Kai--this is an inspiration. Keep up your good work!||Roger and Doris Tyldesley||04/27/2019||$100.00||Go for it Kai!||Kai Olson||04/27/2019||$20.00||From Eric Peterson :)||Nicholas Catalano||04/26/2019||$50.00||A true biker would drink the water from the Atlantic and the Pacific...||Anonymous Friend||04/24/2019||$100.00||Doris Olson||04/21/2019||$50.00||In honor of Mae Shoemaker's birthday||Kai Olson||04/21/2019||$25.00||From Alan Wheeler, Kai Harrington, and Carlie Pritt (Also on team Seattle!!) :)||Larry and Roz Schack||04/19/2019||$100.00||Kai, Enjoy this great adventure for such a good cause!||Mike and Mary Jo Elliott||04/17/2019||$100.00||Way to go Kai!||Daniel Reinhardt||04/17/2019||$10.00||Kai Olson||04/16/2019||$25.00||From Alex Lee, my new friend / fellow nordic skier :)||Kai Olson||04/16/2019||$10.00||From Hannah Hampton! :)||Kai Olson||04/16/2019||$9.00||From Zainab :) "trust me that Panera order will be huuuuge"||Kai Olson||04/16/2019||$20.00||From Wesley Wolfe <3||Kai Olson||04/16/2019||$25.00||From Justin Amaker - "How do you wish a biker good luck? Pedal hard? Don't skip leg day? (that's kinda important, actually. My advice to you from here on out is don't skip leg day.) In all seriousness, I immensely enjoyed hearing and telling your story! Best of luck to ya!" Justin recently interviewed me and Joe Crosetto (friend who is also doing the ride) and wrote a story that will come out soon on Tommie Media! Thank you Justin!||Molly Peterson||04/10/2019||$25.00||Don Gamboni||04/09/2019||$200.00||AnnMarie Thomas||04/08/2019||$25.00||Christopher Hassel||04/08/2019||$50.00||Sarah Anderson||04/03/2019||$100.00||Patrcia Bill||03/07/2019||$100.00||Doris Olson||12/31/2018||$200.00||So very proud of you||Lorri Wolfe||10/23/2018||$50.00||David and Mia Olson||10/10/2018||$100.00||Hey Kai Taylor Olson, these funds are from your Great Grandparents Roy and Cary Taylor.||Bethany Winter||10/08/2018||$50.00||So proud of you, Kai! You will do great!||Mary and Judy S Yee||10/07/2018||$100.00||Kai, I met your mom through our resistance activities in CD3. I admire her spirit and dedication so much. And it sounds like you are following in her footsteps so I am happy to contribute something to this good cause.||Susan Cassidy||10/04/2018||$50.00||From your favorite 4K mentor :)||Linda Todd||09/30/2018||$50.00||Greg Olson||09/29/2018||$200.00||Super cool Kai!||Spencer Polk||09/28/2018||$75.00||So excited for you Kai!!! Can't wait to cheer you on and follow your journey. :)||Ross Kirby||09/28/2018||$25.00||Mitchell Allen||09/28/2018||$25.00||Kai Olson||09/28/2018||$5.00||From Lucas Fuhr :)||Andrew Mohama||09/28/2018||$50.00||Kai, This ride will make a significant impact on your life and those around you. A quote that drove me throughout my entire ride and my daily life goes, “never underestimate the difference you can make in the life of just one person.” Excited to train with you and see you do this journey. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, my friend!||Jane Eastlund||09/28/2018||$50.00||What an adventure and a commitment!||Kai Olson||07/21/2018||$100.00|