Merrielle McDonough is a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh. In the summer of 2019, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore to San Francisco, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I’ve known too many friends and family members who have fought cancer, though my biggest connection to the cancer community is through my mom. My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 47 years old and given just six months to live. Instead of accepting the death sentence the doctor gave her, she fought her disease and ended up living six and a half fulfilling and beautiful years after her diagnosis before she eventually passed away in 2008. Though the grief that comes with watching someone you love suffer from cancer and eventually succumb to it is indescribable, I am forever thankful to have had her in my life and to have witnessed her incredible strength, wisdom, compassion, and spirit while she was here.
I am also riding for my previous 4K Team New York teammate Steven Hensle. Steven had signed up and joined team New York before he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Though he couldn’t run with us that summer due to his diagnosis, he was always on our minds and in our hearts. We were lucky enough to meet and spend an evening with Steven and his mother Lisa Hensle the day before our final day of the 4K. They were both so kind and we were so thankful to have had them around for the end of the journey. It was an incredibly special day and I will never forget him.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
I ran across the country with 4K for Cancer in 2016 on team New York and it was one of the most rewarding and life changing experiences I’ve ever had. I truly felt as though I was living each day as if it was my last and I have never been so inspired before by both my teammates and the many people we met on our journey. I was most inspired during our rest day visits to oncology centers and hospitals where we visited amazing people currently going through chemo or battling cancer. Every person I met was so positive and truly changed my way of viewing life and all that comes with it. I can’t think of a better way to give back to the cancer community then to participate in this journey once more.
2019 marks the 18th 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 Foundation (Ulman). Interested in joining the fight? Apply to be a rider or runner a at www.4kforcancer.org!
Over 72,000 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.
Ulman Foundation changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. With your support, Ulman 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.
Ulman House - This year Ulman will open 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!
|Kinsey Manchester||12/10/2018||$50.00||My lion, I am so proud of you for deciding to do the 4K again. Thank you for changing my life for the better, for all of the laughs, singing sessions, deep talks, and the best of hugs. Your new team is so lucky to have such an incredible human. So much love! You're going to crush it!!||Allison Perrine||12/10/2018||$50.00||25 for each leg that falls off. I'm super proud of you for taking on the director role and low key jealous that your route is cooler than San Fran 15. You're going to have a blast! Merri(Elle) Christmas :)||Marissa/John McDonough||11/22/2018||$50.00||Proud of you Merielle! Love, Marissa and John||Meghan McDonough||11/15/2018||$100.00||Larry Posner||11/04/2018||$25.00||Jerrold Windman||10/27/2018||$50.00||Yiayia Roula||10/25/2018||$25.00||Merrielle||Kate Rodman||10/04/2018||$25.00||So proud of you, Merrielle!! Love you!||Amelia Mindich||09/23/2018||$10.00||Please ride in honor of my best friend and housemate Nate Smarcz whose been fighting testicular cancer for the second time since October 2017.||Joan Bryson||08/11/2018||$50.00||Ride weel||Kiley Boehlke||07/31/2018||$20.00||What you’re doing is beautiful, and so are you <3||Allison Obeid||07/29/2018||$50.00||From tom and Allison ❤️ Keep pushing through and fighting. Your beautiful mom would be so proud ❤️||Roseanne McDonough||07/18/2018||$25.00||Melanie A Wood||07/05/2018||$25.00||Heather Reekie||07/02/2018||$25.00||Sharon Thomas||07/02/2018||$100.00||Liu Mien||07/02/2018||$20.00||Neighboorhood Fundraiser||07/02/2018||$145.00||Jane Leventhal||07/01/2018||$100.00||Jan Henderson||06/22/2018||$25.00||Congratulations Merrielle on making this commitment to the 4K again! You are amazing! Please dedicate a day to Cory's dad, Frank! Ride strong and safe!||Amanda Truiano||06/21/2018||$25.00||Go Merrielle!||Nick Moore||06/20/2018||$20.00||Bikes rule.||Lisa and Brian Mindich||06/01/2018||$50.00||Love you, Merrielle!||Tony Varughese||05/30/2018||$35.00||So proud of you for 4King again! P.S: My bad about dinner, rain check!!||Yiayia Roula||05/07/2018||$20.00||Merrielle McDonough||05/01/2018||$100.00|