Madeline LeDoux is a senior at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In the summer of 2018, she 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 Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
Cancer is something that has an affect on everyone somehow. You can talk to anyone and ask them about how cancer has affected them and more often than not, they will have one or even more than one story to share. For me, I have had many family members who have battled this heartbreaking illness.
My grandmother on my mother's side passed away from breast cancer at a young age, leaving her four children, and loving husband behind. My mother was only 16 at the time of her mother's death, and although she does not talk about this part of her life often, I know that it was a challenging time for her and her family. Because of cancer I was never able to meet my grandmother. From the little that I know about her, I have concluded that she was a strong, adventurous woman with a desire to help others.
On a more positive note, my Aunt Peggy on my father's side also suffered from breast cancer, and is currently living a happy and healthy life with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She battled long and hard and overcame this difficult journey, and as a result she is now cancer free.
Cancer takes a lot out of not only the individual who is diagnosed, but also the entire family of that person. I am thankful to be able to spend time with my friends and family that have battled cancer and are living life to the fullest. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't heartbroken from all the loss of family members and friends due to cancer.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
No one wants to watch their mother, father, child, or friend suffer through something such as cancer. Knowing that there are so many people who are fighting for their life, at this very moment is the main reason why I am dedicating these next months of my life to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Running across America seems like such a impossible task, but when I look at this experience in a non-selfish way, my eyes open up to the fact that this will be an experience of a lifetime. I can make a difference and I can show the world how much of an impact can be made when working together and putting aside your selfish thoughts.
Two years ago, I trained with my mother to run the Colfax Half Marathon in Denver, Colorado. We would run miles and miles every day and during this training I was not only training my body for this run, but I was training my heart for a time to get closer with my mom. It was through this training that I learned that a mother is such an important person in a growing woman's life. My mother's mom passed away, as I mentioned before from breast cancer. My grandmother was taken away from my mom at such an important time in my mother's life. Sixteen is a monumental age for a woman, and I can not imagine not having my mom around for all the important events in my life.
I will be running for my grandmother this summer, but also I will be running for my mom. Although I will not be training with her this time as I prepare to run 4,000 miles, I know I will have her support, along with the rest of my family and friends. I hope that by running, I will show my mother how much I appreciate her and how I can not imagine what growing up without a mother was like for her.
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!
|Anonymous Friend||11/07/2017||$100.00||Donald & Shelly Dyer||11/07/2017||$50.00||this sounds like a great adventure...and helping others while you do it makes it even better!||Niki Wilson||11/02/2017||$100.00||Love ya girl! Such an inspiration! Keep it up. God is going to do amazing things with your life :)||Marilyn Williams||11/02/2017||$100.00||Will be praying for you||Beth Allison||11/02/2017||$500.00||You are an amazing young woman. I am honored to donate to your journey!||Jamie Scott||11/01/2017||$250.00||We are so proud of you , Miss Maddie! Love, Shep, Charlie and Sully||Kayla Rojas||11/01/2017||$10.00||Buen camino||Anonymous Friend||10/31/2017||$50.00||Good luck!||Madeline LeDoux||10/30/2017||$100.00|