Manos Pagonis is a sophomore at Montgomery College. In the summer of 2018, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore, MD to San Francisco, CA, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I have a friend who was diagnosed with leukemia about five years ago. I was unable to see him until two years ago because he had been too weak to be exposed to too many people. When I finally saw him, he had told me how hard it was fighting leukemia; how he wished he could have had his friends by his side. I couldn’t be there for my friend at the time, so now I make it my goal to be there for as many people as possible. Doing 4K last year changed my life. It opened my eyes and exposed me to what's really important. This organisation and its programs inspire, unite, and create. It inspires people to live more philanthropically. It unites people like us, the communities we go through, and everyone who has ever been affected by cancer. It creates connections to the cancer community you never thought you'd have. Every person I met along the way last year touched me in one way or another. The entire trip was a roller coaster of emotions causing us to cry, laugh, and love all in one day. Overall, my why for riding is my close friend Stamati and for every person I met along the way during last years 4K. Many of those people include Renee and the Emersons, Jeremy Pope, Jamie Roberts, my teammates and their families, and our hosts and all of their families.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
The reason I’m traveling over 4,000 miles with the Ulman Cancer Fund this summer is to raise money and awareness for people who are in need. After doing the 4K last year I realized there is a huge void for support in the young adult cancer community. A huge void that is being filled over time by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, and as this organization expands it continues to do incredible things for those in need. The trip last year helped me grow stronger as a person both physically and mentally. It also taught me so many life lessons that I learned from my teammates and from every person I met along the way. It taught me to appreciate everything and everyone, and that putting my time and effort towards helping others is what I should be doing for the rest of my life. It taught me to stay positive throughout every situation, because positivity is contagious and that spreading your positive attitude to those who are struggling is what really helps them fight. It allowed me to meet another 22 incredible individuals all motivated by the common goal of helping others, who I now consider my family. Overall I’m doing the 4K again to be there for those who are fighting or who fought like my friend Stamati. I dedicated every single day to him last summer hoping that he would get better. Unfortunately, he passed about two weeks after I finished the 4K. This summer I’m going to dedicate every single day to all the memories we shared together, and the impact he’s had on my life.
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!
|Garrett Parker||09/05/2017||$50.00||Love you, dude.||Emmanuel Pagonis||08/30/2017||$100.00|