Meghan Berking is a sophomore at University of Massachusetts Lowell. In the summer of 2017 she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49 day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco, CA to New York, NY to raise funds and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in May 2015. At that point in my life, I was on my way to graduate high school and start my first year of college at UMass Lowell. One of the clubs I joined was the Colleges Against Cancer chapter at UML, where I helped raise awareness, fundraise, plan and participate in UML's Relay for Life.
My Dad lost his battle to cancer in June 2016 after a long and courageous fight. He was so proud of my hard work and passion to be a part of the cancer community. He came to UMass Lowell's Relay for Life Event in April 2016, meeting my club members, walking around the track and hearing the story of another man that fought colon cancer, which inspired him to become even stronger.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I want to continue to fight cancer in the memory of my Dad, and I felt that this run would be a great opportunity to do that, combining my drive to fight cancer and my growing love/passion for running. I don't want anyone else to have go through the pain of their parents, grandparents, best friends or loved ones having to battle cancer. Hopefully one day, cancer won't even be an issue. I am committed to becoming a better person and helping those in need, whether it's physically or mentally, so that we can all be happy.
While fundraising for cancer, running across the country will allow me to start experiencing the world. I want to discover what is really important to me, who I really am as an individual, what my purpose is, and how I can make the world a better place. This will be the beginning of a great adventure for me that will ultimately help others in their fight against cancer.
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!
|Sarah Jane Visnick||12/05/2017||$50.00||Sorry I'm so late on this, Meghan... I know it doesn't fix any or every thing, but I'm wishing you all the strength in the world.||Anonymous Friend||09/03/2017||$100.00||Elizabeth Sands||08/29/2017||$150.00||Thank you, Meghan, for your courage and strength to keep cancer in the forefront while honoring your Dad's memory. I cried when I saw that you carried my brother's name, your cousins' other beloved uncle, Jim Sands, on your leg. Two amazing men!||Bill and Deb McCready||08/04/2017||$150.00||You go girl! We are proud of you!||Robin Abel||07/19/2017||$35.00||What a wonderful thing you are doing in honer of your dad.||Kathy and Rod Burnham||07/07/2017||$100.00||Hannah Burnham||07/06/2017||$100.00||Thank you Meghan, for raising awareness and fundraising for this cause. My husband died in August 2015 of colon cancer. I will miss him forever.||Victoria Mori||06/18/2017||$15.00||Good Luck Meghan! Your dad would be so proud. He'll be running right along with you!||Molly Pitman||06/14/2017||$50.00||Good luck Meghan!! Thank you for dedicating a day to our Dad, John. The Pitman Family||Anonymous Friend||06/14/2017||$750.00||Adele Sands||06/12/2017||$50.00||For Chris Berking and Jim Sands||Anonymous Friend||06/06/2017||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||06/05/2017||$25.00||Anonymous Friend||06/05/2017||$75.00||Heidi Porat||05/31/2017||$250.00||Sendin love from Heidi, Gabriella & Zak. May this be one ofbmany adventures ahead of you. You are a brave, strong and comapssioante young woman and I know your Dad would be very proud of you. May his light shine above you each day through your journey.||Gail Gilroy-Doering||05/31/2017||$55.00||You are an amazing inspiration Meghan! My daughter Bridget shared your story and journey, and I'm thrilled to support you! Your Dad, like Bridget's Dad, lost a hard fought battle, but they are so proud to see their daughters continue the fight, to make a difference, and honor their memories. Best of Luck...May the road rise to meet you....||Bridget Gilroy||05/30/2017||$50.00||I am SO proud of you and your resilience to continue fighting back against this awful disease. You have an incredible spirit and a heart of gold. Thank you for making a difference and best of luck on your run!||Erin Murphy & Family||05/30/2017||$100.00||Good luck Meghan! We'll be cheering you on all summer! Hope you have a wonderful time running for this amazing cause!||Amy & Paul Ala||05/18/2017||$100.00||Best of luck!||Casey Steele||05/16/2017||$100.00||Good luck Meghan! Thank you for being so inspiring! Love Casey and Myles||Emma Sands-Berking||05/16/2017||$25.00||So proud of you Little Cuz!||Alexandra Berking||05/15/2017||$100.00||Good luck sissy, I love you and know you're going to kill this run!!||Jim & Denise Myers||05/15/2017||$125.00||Sara Berking||05/15/2017||$35.00||What an amazing journey you will have, Good luck Meghan!||Tammy Nguyen||05/15/2017||$20.00||Good luck Meghan!||Bobbie Berking-Dalzell||05/13/2017||$100.00||Dear Meghan, Dave and I think you are amazing to be part of this incredible event! We send our love and support and cheer you on your journey across America! xo, Auntie Bobbie & Uncle Dave||Anonymous Friend||05/09/2017||$400.00||Wishing you an amazing journey Meghan!||Peter Weston||05/09/2017||$100.00||David Torrance||04/22/2017||$100.00||Meghan: a great way to celebrate a really nice guy!||Michael Goulding||04/18/2017||$50.00||Good luck Megan!||Marina Ruths||04/13/2017||$25.00||Good luck!||Anonymous Friend||04/12/2017||$30.00||Emily Valacer||04/12/2017||$15.00||Good Luck with this amazing journey Meghan!!||Barbara Blackman||04/11/2017||$100.00||I am so proud of you Meghan||Erick Bourbon||04/10/2017||$75.00||Good luck Meghan!||Tom Hammond||04/10/2017||$100.00||Good luck on this amazing challenge and journey!!||Anonymous Friend||04/07/2017||$400.00||Rooting for you all the way Meghan!||Tori and Mike Norton||04/06/2017||$100.00||Marion Muskiewicz||04/05/2017||$25.00||Yay Meghan! I wish you good luck and good health on this adventure. It's a great way to raise money for a good cause and see our great countryside too!||Jan Lyle Malcolm||04/04/2017||$100.00||Your Dad would be so proud of you, Meghan. xoj||James Berking||04/02/2017||$50.00||May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back. You rock!||Ann McGIll||03/31/2017||$75.00||Bob Drier||03/31/2017||$100.00||Wat to go, Meghan!||Nancy De Luca||03/29/2017||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||03/24/2017||$20.00||Anonymous Friend||03/24/2017||$50.00||Meghan, Wishes for your big adventure! Keep us all in the loop. Love, Nana||Larry Berking||03/23/2017||$100.00||Great cause! We're rooting for you, Meghan - both for the fundraiser and in your personal quest. Godspeed!||Marc Vollenweider||03/20/2017||$100.00||Great initiative||George Berking||03/20/2017||$50.00||Run like the wind Meghan!||Michael and Heidi Lennhoff||03/15/2017||$25.00||God Bless!Be safe!!!||Lindsey Berking||03/15/2017||$50.00||Go Meghan!!||Carter Berking||03/14/2017||$100.00||GO MEEGHAN! So proud of you..||Cora (& Tony) Burnham||03/14/2017||$100.00||Dear Meghan, What an amazing and inspiring challenge! May the road open wide before you, the wind be always at your back, and your Dad always beside you.||Amy Maher||03/13/2017||$100.00||Go, Meghan, go!! We love you! XO Amy, Patrick, Brian, and T||Maggie Daigle||03/12/2017||$50.00||Good luck on your amazing trip Meghan!||Scott Donahue||03/10/2017||$50.00||Godspeed!||Rick Bassler||03/10/2017||$50.00||Meghan, May you experience many smiles remembering your dad throughout your adventure. Power On!||Jim & Casha Kerney||03/10/2017||$75.00||Good luck Meghan. Terrific way to honor your father and help the world become a healthier place for all of us.||Anonymous Friend||03/10/2017||$100.00||Jody and Scott Cole||03/10/2017||$50.00||Charles & Susan Berking||03/10/2017||$100.00||Truly inspirational Meghan! We are so proud to be part of your extended family. You are an outstanding tribute to your Dad. Our fondest Best Wishes for your run !||Alex & Liz Zanecchia||03/09/2017||$20.00||Go Meghan! Such a great thing to do! Your dad was a an amazing inspiration to us all. Best of luck!||Milo & Melody Zanecchia||03/09/2017||$50.00||Looking forward to following the adventure!||Elizabeth Kilmarx||03/09/2017||$50.00||Keep up the good fight against cancer!||Armando and Charlotte Zanecchia||03/09/2017||$300.00||Go Meghan!||Dan Carr||03/09/2017||$100.00||Meghan - We'll be rooting for you! Sending love from Kari and Dan Carr (Grandma Syl's son and daughter-in-law)||Peter and Nicha Kilmarx||03/08/2017||$50.00||Awed by your Dad's fight and proud of you!||Sylvie Carr||03/08/2017||$75.00||Meghan, What an amazing way to honor your Dad! He will be with you every step of the way. We will be cheering you on throughout your journey. Love, Sylvie Carr & Don Rubenstein Grandma Syl's daughter & son in law :)||Shawn G.||02/25/2017||$30.00||Good luck Meghan!||Maura & John Curran||02/14/2017||$250.00||Good luck Meghan and stay strong!||Garcia-Brown Family||02/10/2017||$100.00||Good luck on your journey this summer!||Maggie Daigle||02/08/2017||$100.00||Go Meghan!!!||Susan Drumgould||02/06/2017||$100.00||Hi Went to college with your Mom. So sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm a breast cancer survivor. Good luck in your ride.||Barbara Blackman||02/04/2017||$100.00||Meghan I am so proud and impressed by what you are doing and who you are I love you grandma||Maggie Daigle||02/02/2017||$100.00||Meghan I am so excited for your adventure running across the USA! Your dad would be so proud of your drive, dedication and courage - and all in the name of fighting Cancer. Go girl!||Harty Family||02/02/2017||$100.00||Rodney Denman||02/02/2017||$50.00||Meghan Berking - you are truly amazing with all you set out to accomplish, especially making your dad's smile reach across the skies!||Meghan Berking||01/14/2017||$100.00|