Kaitlyn McCue is a Senior at SUNY Oswego. In the summer of 2017, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore to Portland, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My personal connection to cancer began in 2005 when my nana, Filomena Intorcia, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it and was in remission until it came back with an unforeseen vengeance and metastasized to her bones. On July 22, 2007, the world lost the kindest heart while Heaven gained its most beautiful angel.
In 2005, my teacher, Melissa Gleichenhaus, passed away from ovarian cancer. The following year, my uncle, Joe Hojnacki, passed away from bone cancer. In 2015, a family friend of mine, Robin Reis, passed away from leukemia. Now, another family friend of mine, Kathy Doolittle, is fully engaged in winning the battle against breast cancer.
Nonetheless, I am fully aware that cancer looms beyond my circle of friends and family. Cancer takes the lives of thousands upon thousands of people each year. Cancer does not discriminate. Cancer comes without warning and does not wait for “the right time.” Cancer is ruthless and unapologetic. However, there is one entity in existence that is far more powerful and everlasting than cancer – that is, the unconditional support that lies within the cancer community.
My experience with Team San Diego significantly deepened my overall connection to the cancer community. As we biked from community to community, we met hundreds of people afflicted by cancer. We shared stories of strength and victory. We shared stories of pain and adversity. We shared hugs, and we shared tears. We shared real emotions and real moments. We shared what it means to be human, and within these intimate moments, communities found hope, and we found the inspiration to keep pedaling to unite communities in the fight against cancer.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
A cancer diagnosis has the capacity to flip any individual’s world upside down in the matter of seconds. However, young adults with cancer face a myriad of challenges especially unique to their specific age group. Before their diagnoses, they were busy discovering themselves and mapping out their futures. Many were in the midst of planning their careers, and many were in the process of settling down and starting a family. Cancer changes everything and puts an abrupt halt to all of a young adult’s dreams, goals, and aspirations. Cancer freezes the most crucial time of a young adult’s life, and while his or her life is paused, cancer relentlessly carries on. Time is never returned.
The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is special in that it is the only nonprofit organization that provides direct support and resources to young adults facing cancer. As a health person who fits within this age demographic, I would like to embrace the 4K as an opportunity to advocate for those who do not have the time nor energy to advocate for themselves.
2017 marks the 16th 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 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!
|Kathy Doolittle||05/17/2017||$132.00||We are so proud of what you are doing! It is an honor to know you. You are such a strong young woman! Have a fantastic time and be safe. We love you! Kathy and Dave.||Kathy Doolittle||05/17/2017||$300.00||Friends of Kathy and Dave Derby Fundraiser. We hope you can join us at the party next year! Stay Strong!||Nicolette Camishion||04/26/2017||$50.00||Swiper!! I am so, so proud of you for doing this crazy adventure for a second summer, and honestly just for being a total badass! Have an AMAZING time, and don't even think about breaking the 58.8 mile record (;||Andrew Jirik||04/25/2017||$253.00||You did it! Can't wait to see you and your team in Des Moines :) dedicate a day to everyone we met during our ride!||Sam Sauer||04/21/2017||$15.00||I'm so proud of you for doing this. You're the best!||Glenn Lumbert||04/18/2017||$15.00||Good luck on round two, I am so jealous I can't do it with you again!||Margot Balzer||04/17/2017||$20.00||Fundraiser At Fajita Grill||04/16/2017||$186.80||Thank you to everyone who came out for some burritos!||Stephen Wurst||04/16/2017||$20.00||USA PARTY||04/16/2017||$625.00||Thank you so much to all who came to my fourth and final USA party! I'd like to thank my wonderful rugby teammates for all of their help, and I would like to make a special shoutout to Nick and his housemates for letting me host the party at their house last minute!||Jenky Snedeker||04/16/2017||$25.00||Congratulations, ride strong and safe.||Anonymous Friend||04/07/2017||$300.00||Michael Colley||04/07/2017||$100.00||Best of luck, have a safe and enjoyable journey||Marlena Pegues||03/22/2017||$50.00||Best of luck, Kaitlyn! Hope all goes well with it!||Claudia McSweeney||03/21/2017||$50.00||Swiper!!! Words alone can't describe how excited I am for you to take on your second journey across the country. You have such a big heart and have inspired so many. Team San Diego was so lucky to have you and I guess it looks like we will have to share your love with Portland. I'm hoping I can join you guys one day out west so we can race each other like last summer. :) Also, never forget the van day in Santa Monica! Best day of 4K by far! Love you Swiper!||Fundraiser At 2 Cans||03/16/2017||$540.00||A big thank you to everyone who came to my fundraiser at 2 Cans! I'd like to give a special shoutout to my amazing rugby teammates as well as Rob, the owner of 2 Cans!||Sabrina Shortall||03/06/2017||$10.00||Keep changing the world one pedal at a time!||Emmeline Ortiz||02/23/2017||$20.00||With you always||Geraldo Febles||02/23/2017||$25.00||Sorry I couldn't make it to 2cans tonight lol. You're truly amazing for biking across the country again!!||Michael and Diane Tedeschi||02/12/2017||$20.00||Good luck!||Anonymous Friend||02/07/2017||$25.00||You are a remarkable young woman and I applaud your efforts! Such important work you are doing!||Chris Kazyaka/Cleveland||02/07/2017||$25.00||I am a friend of your mothers from Yorktown high school and met your grandma a few times. She was a lovely woman. I am very proud of what you're doing And your determination to raise money for cancer. Best of luck.||Breanna Collins||02/03/2017||$50.00||Keep climbing mountains <3||Sandra Intorcia||02/01/2017||$50.00||Have a great trip this summer Kaitlyn & all your friends. Love Aunt Sandy||Jeannette Piqueras||01/26/2017||$25.00||Bless you all, be safe ❤||Aaron Oppegard||01/26/2017||$50.57||Have a blast this summer!! Hope I can see you either at send off or arrival. It'd mean a lot if you would dedicate a day to my mom - Debra Schirm.||Lou and Chris Petty||01/18/2017||$60.00||Good luck!||Jessica Kisluk||01/18/2017||$20.00||Thanks for letting me interview you for my final newswriting project. You're amazing for doing this! Good luck (:||Rosemary Evaul||01/16/2017||$100.00||Brava Kaitlyn for doing this again. I was with you in spirit all across your route last year, and will follow again this year.||Michelle Heredia||01/01/2017||$100.00||Kaitlyn, You are truly an inspiration to us all, to be doing this again. Best of luck to you reaching your goal. Cycle on!||Ginger Hardman||01/01/2017||$100.00||Good luck Kaitlyn, we love you! Best of luck on the trip this year.||Mike McCue||12/28/2016||$100.00||Merry Christmas!||Anonymous Friend||12/10/2016||$50.00||USA PARTY||11/26/2016||$977.69||Thank you to my housemates, rugby teammates, and everyone else who helped make my USA party a huge success!||Anonymous Friend||11/07/2016||$5.00||Donating via my friend and teammate Andrew Jirik who told me about your cause.||Christine Gosioco||11/04/2016||$30.00||Swiper, Huge respect for you for taking your second trip across the country! Team San Diego would not have been the same without your optimism, energy and work ethic last summer - I have no doubt that you'll bring that to your team this year! Make the under-agers proud! <3||Gabriel Giraldo-Wingler||11/04/2016||$50.00||Kick some ass for me||Fundraiser At The Shed||10/31/2016||$120.00||Thank you for coming out on such a rainy night! :)||Audrey Meany||10/21/2016||$20.00||This is for an amazing cause and its an incredible experience! You are so dedicated and I am happy to help in any way!||Lenna Piteo||10/20/2016||$100.00||When you first told me you were biking across America I couldn't believe it and now you're going for round two! You're an incredible, hardworking inspiration and I wish you the best of luck! Love you Swipes, the Black Widows and I are so proud!||Andrew Jirik||10/11/2016||$30.00||Kaitlyn, I am so excited and proud of you for doing this again! I can't wait to follow your journey in Team Portland. Although you'll be getting another fam, don't forget about your original fam Diego! :) P.S. From the route map, it looks like you might be going through Ames, IA (where I'm at currently) or Des Moines. Let me know if you need any help looking for a host or anything!||Pappa Goose||10/06/2016||$30.00||Have fun! And be safe!! :)||Anonymous Friend||10/03/2016||$25.00||Way to go Kaitlyn!||Kaitlyn McCue||09/25/2016||$100.00|