Martha Siegmund is finishing up her last year of graduate school at the University of Michigan. 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 Seattle, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
In 2013, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Anyone who has ever heard the word “cancer” escape a doctor’s mouth has felt the unique, gut wrenching pull of knowing you haven’t accomplished your life’s goals. At the age of 23, I had accomplished so few of my goals and was being reminded in a not-so-subtle way of my very real mortality. Being faced with cancer gave me the courage to reevaluate my life, pursue my passion, and devote myself to the service of others. Ultimately, I had two surgeries and radiation and thankfully have made a full recovery.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I am traveling 4,000 miles this summer for several reasons. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund that no young adult should have to face cancer alone. In my own experience, it can be very isolating to be in your early twenties and have cancer. Even if you are surrounded by people who love and care about you, none of your peers are going through the same experience. The Ulman Cancer Fund fills an important niche in cancer support by exclusively targeting this age group. After I was diagnosed, I found lots of wonderful resources for people with cancer, but none of them were specifically aimed at young adults, and thus did not address the unique concerns of this group. The Ulman Fund provides valuable services exclusively to young adults with cancer: college scholarships, guidebooks for those recently diagnosed, support groups, the UCF House (a home away from home for patients going through treatment and their families), patient navigators (trained professionals who help young adults navigate all kinds of issues), and a Cancer to 5k program. The runner in me loves the idea of the Cancer to 5k program. What better way to empower young survivors and make them feel like they are taking their bodies back than training for and completing a race? These are needed and valuable services that will improve the lives of many young adults with cancer and I am excited to support such a worthy cause. My final reason is personal. I love a challenge and making my way from Baltimore to Seattle, the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance, on nothing but my own steam ignites a fiery sense of passion. Accomplishing this goal accompanied by a group of my peers who have all been touched by cancer will be an incredibly special and empowering experience.
Thank you for your support!
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!
|Becky & Roger Tuuk||07/19/2017||$100.00||What a great experience you are having, meeting a huge challenge, seeing the country, and supporting a great cause! Stay strong as you push to the finish. We'll be flying out of Seattle the morning of the day you arrive there, so we'll wave from the sky:-)||Susan Schneider||06/30/2017||$110.00||Rachel Bessire||06/24/2017||$30.00||Bob and Ardie Love||06/15/2017||$150.00||Good Luck!||Kathleen King||06/09/2017||$25.00||Beth Simmonds||06/06/2017||$50.00||You are an inspiration! Safe travels on this incredible journey, Karen!||Hannah Woll||05/19/2017||$30.00||Good Luck Karen!||Amira Shehata||05/15/2017||$20.00||Good luck!!||Amira Shehata||05/15/2017||$5.00||Definitely thought I put $25 the first time....lol.||Margaret Banker||05/12/2017||$50.00||Good Luck! I'll be waiting for you at Bill's when you ride through Ann Arbor :)||Sudhir Kumar||04/25/2017||$25.00||Martha, I was not aware that you are cancer survivor. This is very inspiring. Keep up the good work!||Valentin Stoynov||04/25/2017||$20.00||Martha you are an inspiration. Good luck. Valentin from CWES SACC. We miss you.||Katy Looft||04/24/2017||$50.00||Woo! Go, Karen! You're an inspiration!||Kira Garry||04/24/2017||$10.00||Good luck Martha! This is amazing!||Reid Cifrino||04/24/2017||$20.00||This is incredibly inspiring, Karen! So proud of you. Good luck!||Michael Manning||04/24/2017||$25.00||Good luck and have fun Martha!!! This time your ride home will be longer than mine!||Saralyn Behrmann||04/05/2017||$50.00||I am so excited for you to have this incredible opportunity. When I pedal through the Leelanau Peninsula this summer, I will be thinking of you. May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.||Audrey Urquhart||03/22/2017||$30.00||What an honor it is to be your friend, Martha. I'll be cheering you on from start to finish this summer!||Lyle and Mary Ann Cox||03/18/2017||$100.00||You are an inspiration in more ways than one and a strong, beautiful woman. Good Luck !!||Stephanie Murphy||03/18/2017||$25.00||Charlotte (from SACC at CWES) says Hi! Have an amazing ride.||Bobbie Bowers||03/17/2017||$75.00||I am so excited for you! Bobbie||Sam Edington||03/16/2017||$400.00||Go Karen!||Chris Marker||03/16/2017||$100.00||You are an inspiration Karen!||Catzby Pitzvada||03/14/2017||$65.00||Good luck, Karen! I hope you have an amazing adventure this summer!||Bharathi Ramachandran||03/08/2017||$10.00||Good Luck MarthVader!||Emily Morris||03/08/2017||$50.00||Mary Burke||03/07/2017||$50.00||So proud of you. ❤ Mary and Pat Ary||Frances Kalkstein||03/06/2017||$75.00||May you enjoy your journey! We are grateful for you!||Anonymous Friend||03/06/2017||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||02/25/2017||$245.00||From MaDude. To Dinko, Hakka, and Lakey. I'm not a good doer.||Breanna Anderson||02/20/2017||$20.00||This is amazing! Truly inspirational, and I hope you have a wonderful adventure :)||Sarah Smyth||02/20/2017||$30.00||Go Martha!||Scott Drenkard||02/20/2017||$75.00||Go Karen!||Russ Lawrence||02/20/2017||$50.00||Way to go Karen! May you have clear skies, courteous drivers, and a strong tail wind!||Shamika Ranasinghe||02/20/2017||$15.00||Awesome cause! Hope you have a blast :)||Nghi Phung||02/20/2017||$25.00||Good luck, Karen! Be safe and enjoy the views!||Anonymous Friend||02/20/2017||$20.00||Stephanie Lichiello||02/19/2017||$50.00||What a worthwhile cause and a truly moving and inspiring story. I wish you all the best on your journey. Good luck!||Mitch Sevigny||02/19/2017||$20.00||Jelena Verkler||02/19/2017||$20.00||Kyle Leix||02/19/2017||$25.00||Chase Hall||02/19/2017||$100.00||Karen, this is amazing - I wish you the best on your adventure and hope it's an amazing experience after beating cancer. I can't wait to follow.||Pearl Tu||02/19/2017||$50.00||I am very luck to be in the same cohort with you, Martha. Thank you for being inspiring.||Andrew Whiteman||02/19/2017||$25.00||Kitty Hawk||02/16/2017||$100.00||Emily Burke||02/13/2017||$30.00||Go Karen! Can't wait for all of the snaps.||Sarah Watkins||01/30/2017||$40.00||Erin + Jon Wigginton||01/28/2017||$100.00||Go get 'em Kare! <3<3<3||Bright Funds Foundation||01/17/2017||$100.00||John Siegmund||01/08/2017||$200.00||Power to the peddlers. And we all wish you a really fun trip. Uncle John, Adele, John, and Will.||Maya & Thomas DeVita||01/04/2017||$100.00||Wait, this isn't for Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure??? We'll be cheering you on from Virginia!||Michele Cormack||12/30/2016||$50.00||Good Luck Girl!||Sam Edington||12/27/2016||$25.00||Have an amazing adventure karen!!||Anne Marsh||12/21/2016||$100.00||Go Karen! You are amazing!||Noah Tucker||12/20/2016||$75.00||You're da bomb, this is so awesome :)||Donna Smith||12/18/2016||$50.00||Best wishes for a great ride ...||Kate Marsh||12/18/2016||$75.00||Call us from South Dakota!||Shaun Long||12/18/2016||$25.00||For some padded pants!||Leah Kieff||12/14/2016||$40.00||Happy Birthday!!!! Hope your having a wonderful day and get to do funner stuff then read emails. You are a truly priceless friend for asking people to support Karen on your birthday.||Grace Heymsfield||12/08/2016||$20.00||You're a star, Marth! Merry Christmas.||James and Joan Leonard||12/05/2016||$1,000.00||Max Kieff||11/25/2016||$50.00||You're an inspiration to us all!||William Waller||11/24/2016||$25.00||Cecilia Aquino||11/23/2016||$100.00||So excited for you Karen! Love you!!||Chelsea Sklar||11/22/2016||$200.00||You're a rock star, Karen! Ride like the wind.||Anne Leonard||11/22/2016||$150.00||Jeremy Leonard||11/22/2016||$500.00||You are doing a wonderful thing that moves me to the depths of my soul for so many reasons. Pedal with passion and hope!||Brooks & Erika Burnett||11/21/2016||$25.00||Daniel Straus||11/21/2016||$25.00||Leah Kieff||11/21/2016||$25.00||Martha! This is awesome!||Steve & Marilyn Leonard||11/21/2016||$200.00||Against prevailing winds, too!||Martha Siegmund||07/13/2016||$100.00|