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||CAITLIN AMARAL||09/15/2017||$25.00||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||Kara Immonen||08/27/2017||$25.00||Enjoy the ride Matt!||Barbara Berwick||07/13/2017||$75.00|