Matthew Litchfield is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 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 Seattle, WA, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My grandfather has had colon cancer for most of my life. I grew up in the shadow of cancer, told only in hushed tones that something was wrong and that any day could be the beginning of the end. He was a fighter, though: it took me until I was well into college to see the impact cancer has had on him and my family.
When I lived with my grandparents the semester after I returned from studying in France I saw much clearer what living with cancer means, and how it affects the people that care for them. I would sit and do my homework in broad daylight while my grandfather slept on his recliner, too tired to even watch TV. It wasn't stressful for me like it was for my grandmother, the career nurse and family hero who takes care of him, but it was still hard to watch. I was confronted with mortality on a daily basis, which is not something most of my friends living on campus could relate to at the time.
I want to support people whose relationship with cancer is even more fraught - I want to show them that they're not alone.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
In high school I was inspired to ride across America while following the blog of a writer who made the same trek to raise money for wells in Africa. While the cause is different, the journey is the same. For me, this trip is about fulfilling my dream of an introspective journey across a vast continent - I feel like I've barely stepped out of my little corner of New England. I'm riding for a cause that's so close to heart that I know I will bleed, and yet I feel compelled to do it anyway.
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!
|Matthew Litchfield||10/31/2018||$100.00||Angela Davis||06/09/2018||$50.00||You've chosen a wonderful cause to represent. Hope the bike journey brings you fulfillment. As Bobby will confirm my standard mom statement...Have fun and be safe.||Hannah Bowlin||06/05/2018||$15.00||LETS GO MATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry this took so long, you are amazing and on my mind all of the time. Can't wait to see you in Mpls!!! Keep your quads strong and your spirit stronger. GROS BISOUS xx||Charlene and Doug Canuel||06/04/2018||$50.00||Best of luck on your ride!||Russell James||05/17/2018||$50.00||Janice Lakey||05/17/2018||$50.00||Home Plate Norton LLC||05/11/2018||$408.07||Raffle Proceeds||05/09/2018||$702.00||John Ferguson||05/08/2018||$100.00||Get pumped, this is going to be life changing. Remember to keep going even when you don’t want to. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t wish the experience away when it becomes difficult. Embrace the suck. Most of all, get to know your teammates. Sacrifice for them. Do not take them for granted. They will be lifelong friends. Best of luck, I will see you at send off. - John||Aimee Cunningham||05/08/2018||$50.00||Jennifer L Young||05/08/2018||$50.00||Hannah Baker||05/06/2018||$20.00||You’re amazing, Matt. I wish you the best of luck as you go across the country! Your grandfather will be with you every mile. ❤️||Antoine Rauch||05/04/2018||$119.00||Marc Rousseau||05/04/2018||$100.00||Nicolas Pastor||05/02/2018||$25.00||Nice project Matt! :) Good luck for the ride !!!||Shannon Manor Kennedy||04/29/2018||$100.00||Hi Matt - Morgan Lakey wanted to make a donation for your incredible support of the Ulman Cancer Fund. Thanks for fighting for the cause and keep up the great work!||James & Stephanie Stroud||04/10/2018||$100.00||Diane Harrington Heath||04/03/2018||$50.00||Danie Litchfield||04/03/2018||$25.00||Lynn Litchfield||04/03/2018||$100.00||So proud of all you are accomplishing, and how you are reaching out to help other young adults battling cancer. Love Mom & Dad, Chis and Ben.||Anonymous Friend||04/02/2018||$20.00||Liz Lakey||04/02/2018||$100.00||Ride on!||Anonymous Friend||04/02/2018||$20.00||Beth Carroll||04/01/2018||$24.60||Karen V. Rousseau||03/30/2018||$150.00||Hannah Atherton||03/29/2018||$12.30||Bonne chance Matt ! You rock!!||Scott Pickett||03/27/2018||$100.00||Lynn Litchfield||02/17/2018||$100.00||Love you to the moon and back. We are so proud of what you are doing! Love, Mom and Dad||Gina Reis||02/16/2018||$250.00||Lynn A Litchfield||02/10/2018||$875.00||Anonymous Friend||02/02/2018||$50.00||I read about your story in The Torch. So glad they wrote an article about you.||Bob LeComte||01/19/2018||$200.00||William Findlay||01/19/2018||$12.00||¡Massive respect man!||Amy Zhang||01/03/2018||$30.00||Melvin Yoken||12/01/2017||$100.00||Lynn Litchfield||11/22/2017||$50.00||PEDDLE BABY JUST PEDDLE, JOHN COTRELL||Chipotle||11/20/2017||$91.70||Isabel Mularoni||11/05/2017||$50.00||Go Matt!! I'm so excited to see where you'll go on this journey!||Zachary James||10/12/2017||$100.00||GO Matt!!||Robert Davis||10/11/2017||$50.00||Abby Klinedinst||10/09/2017||$20.00||Rock on, Matt! Hope you're enjoying Saint-Étienne and I can't wait to see you sometime during this year abroad ;) Bonne anniversaire et à très bientôt! :p||CAITLIN AMARAL||09/15/2017||$25.00||Cash Cash||09/11/2017||$10.00||Donna Bosworth||09/09/2017||$110.00||Anonymous Friend||09/09/2017||$10.00||Wendy Holmes||09/08/2017||$100.00||It's wonderful what you are doing Matt. I love that the Ulman group provides such great support services. In my opinion, this is crucial and an often overlooked need of persons in treatment for cancer.||Cash Cash||09/08/2017||$40.00||Matthew Litchfield||09/06/2017||$112.00||Proceeds of 50/50 Raffle at Home Plate on 8/29/2017||Owen Voelker||09/06/2017||$100.00||Good luck with the ride Matt!||Home Plate Norton LLC||09/04/2017||$256.24||Karen V. Rousseau||09/03/2017||$100.00||Kara Immonen||08/27/2017||$25.00||Enjoy the ride Matt!||Barbara Berwick||07/13/2017||$75.00|