Grace Burud is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the summer of 2018, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco to New York City, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I never thought that August 25, 2008, would ever come. Not the actual date itself-- but more so what that day became. When I scrambled into that front office, rain dripping down my glasses, my eyes met that distinctive handbag. The handbag that belonged to my mother didn’t make sense here in this setting. Something was unequivocally wrong with this situation. As she told me that my father was gone, my only reaction was to ask her, “You’re kidding, right?” A horribly stupid thing to ask, but all the same, an honest question. The utter shock associated with that grim reality was earth shattering. Right before my nine-year old eyes, my beloved mother transformed into Atlas, the world on her shoulders; she seemed to convey a terrifying uncertainty about how to move forward.
I spent those next few hours in utter disbelief. The man who would throw me in the lake and off the inter-tube with fits of uncontrollable laughter was nowhere to be found. His omnipresent easy smile and unassuming humor was dashed away with him, no longer easily found. With him the summer afternoons smelling of freshly-cut grass spent in the garage eating popsicles and the lyrically-mangled performances of my favorite songs like “Pictures of You” by The Last Goodnight and “Snow” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, faded away.
My mornings of cleaning and changing his bandages suddenly halted. The man that ruled from his Lazy Boy throne, fighting to never let cancer define him had been unfairly conquered. However, the battle had been a valiant one where fear was conquered until the very end, slain by sheer courage. I grew up secure, even within the confines of the hospital, lacking fear about the situation, always assuming his next day would come. People always plead for miracles of healing, but that in and of itself —to grow without fear and only in love and courage— is truly miraculous.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
From my experience with my dad's death, my focus has turned to supporting and effecting change within the cancer community. This summer, I will run the 4,000 miles so that no young person may fight alone and so that my contributions may hopefully ease their suffering in any way. As an undergraduate student with aspirations of becoming a doctor one day, creating change in the present can be more of an obstacle than the in the future. So for me, this 4K For Cancer is how I can create change now, while furthering my character and my ultimate goal of benefiting the cancer community.
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!
|Xiang Zhang||08/06/2018||$500.00||We are truly impressed about your story and the positive attitude you carry for life. What we donated is an award from Metastasis Research Society to Shawn for his research in this field. Iris and Shawn||Lee Ann Weber||08/02/2018||$100.00||You are amazing Gracie!!! Thank you for running for Blue, it meant a lot to him. He went to his oncologist today and no detectable cancer !!!||Roger & Linda Gilcrest||07/31/2018||$150.00||What a wonderful way to honor your dad! We are so very proud of you!||Rob Brewer||07/29/2018||$100.00||Aunt Kathy sends her best wishes and appreciates your efforts. She is very proud of you.||Alison Coyne||07/28/2018||$75.00||Way to go Grace!||Mary Kirichun||07/28/2018||$50.00||Grace, you go girl! So happy and proud of you! You already doing such great things, and you're only starting! Best of luck to you!||Jean Wanish||07/28/2018||$50.00||Well done! You are an inspiration! This is a cause that has touched all of us one way or another! Wishing you all the best on your final leg of this journey!||Katherine Orrell||07/28/2018||$100.00||Way to go, Gracie! So impressed with what you're doing.||Carroll Walton||07/21/2018||$50.00||What an incredible thing you are doing, Grace! Proud of you and happy to contribute to your cause in honor of my brother, who has leukemia.....Thank you! Carroll||Jo Robertson||07/20/2018||$100.00||Gracie Burud, Thank you sooooo very much for running 15 miles for me. I am doing great and use to be a runner❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️||Rob Brewer||07/20/2018||$100.00||Way to go Gracie! Both your dad and my dad are smiling down on you. Kelly and I send our love to you on your journey. Stay strong! Rob||Barb & Rich Neidinger||07/01/2018||$100.00||Grace, we are inspired by your trek across the country for such a worthy cause! Hope you are doing well. Will want to hear all about it, when you are back home! Love, The Neidingers||Norma Adams||06/28/2018||$100.00||Thanks Grace for inspiring us all to do more for cancer research||Jim Gambrell||06/20/2018||$50.00||Grace, we knew your Dad through First Presbyterian. He would be so proud of you!||Anonymous Friend||06/18/2018||$50.00||you are all amazing!||Mark Burud||06/17/2018||$75.00||Grace, we are praying g for sunny skies and safe runs on your wonderful trek! Phil & Bridget Sheehey||Brian Walsh||06/15/2018||$25.00||Best of luck Gracie!||Jane & Frasier Ives||06/14/2018||$100.00||Grace, so proud of you. We sponsored your Mom & Dad when they joined FPC and you are doing a wonderful thing in his memory and to help others. Good Luck!||Jean Gilcrest||06/13/2018||$25.00||Good Luck Gracie!||Gretchen Bottrill||06/13/2018||$300.00||So proud of you, and so glad you got your dad’s running gene!||Shawn Young||06/11/2018||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||06/06/2018||$250.00||Cheryl Keller||05/29/2018||$100.00||Go with the grace of God!||Gwynn Lindler||05/25/2018||$50.00||Way to go, Grace!||Bill Hinrichs||05/18/2018||$100.00||Terrific of you. Enjoy the experience.||Sarah Wetenhall||05/14/2018||$10.00||Way to go!!||Anonymous Friend||05/09/2018||$100.00||Katie Hammons||05/08/2018||$50.00||Brian Tate||05/03/2018||$50.00||Dion Barrett||05/03/2018||$100.00||So awesome!! Quite frankly, I'm speechless.||Miles Matter||05/02/2018||$25.00||What an awesome endeavor.||Ryan Alley||05/02/2018||$50.00||Sophie & Sunny Zhang||05/02/2018||$50.00||You're a HERO!||Kimberly Charles||05/01/2018||$25.00||Steve Trescot||05/01/2018||$50.00||It's a good thing you do. Be safe.||Anonymous Friend||05/01/2018||$100.00||Gracie, your mother is certainly proud of you.||Karl Gulick||05/01/2018||$100.00||Go Gracie!||Leisa Estes||05/01/2018||$50.00||Simply amazing! Go Gracie!||Jenny Anagnostopoulos||05/01/2018||$75.00||Truly inspirational and very admirable! Be safe in your journey across this great nation! #cancersucks||Anonymous Friend||05/01/2018||$50.00||Dan Steele||05/01/2018||$75.00||Grace Burud||04/28/2018||$25.00||You are so strong and I admire that you are using your passion for running for something so important and meaningful to you! I believe in you and know that you'll do great <3||Jacqueline Garcia||04/26/2018||$25.00||YGG!||Fidelity Charitable||04/23/2018||$100.00||Sarah Greenwald||02/26/2018||$50.00||So so proud of you Grace. Forever grateful to have you in my life. You're an inspiration to all. Can't wait for you to run through *cue the voice* Michigan!! By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Much love always!||Celeste M. Callaghan Greenwald||02/26/2018||$100.00||In honor of your challenge & birthday! You go girl! Love, Mr & Mrs Greenwald||Alex Pinder||02/26/2018||$25.00||Happy birthday Grace! As a fellow runner, I'm so glad you're using your passion for such a great cause!||Cindy Grim||02/26/2018||$500.00||Elizabeth Shaw||02/23/2018||$100.00||Good luck Gracie! Very proud of you and know your Dad is proud of you too.....the man who could repair anything :) Look forward to hearing about your run! The Shaw Family will be cheering you on....Sarah, Ryan, Todd and Elizabeth||AnhTien Vu||11/29/2017||$100.00||Best of luck Grace! We’re very proud of you!||Chloe Harty||11/28/2017||$50.00||You are truly so inspiring and I am super proud of you! Love you Grace :)||Mirabelle Eby||11/28/2017||$50.00||You got this grace! I'll be thinking of you:)||Christina Vu||11/28/2017||$50.00||so so so proud of you Grace ! you have so much passion and strength, never let anything stop you. love you gracehopper, you know i'll be sendin' ya good vibes all around :)||Kethan Galloway||11/28/2017||$50.00||You are so awesome for doing this Grace!!! You're gonna do great! And fine, marathon club is pretty cool too.||Anne Guillen||11/28/2017||$75.00||We are so very proud of you, Grace! You go girl! Your dad would have been so proud! :-) Love you!!!||Amy Brinkley||10/08/2017||$250.00||Grace, You inspire us all! Love, Amy||Mary Mayeux||10/08/2017||$25.00||Very inspired by your passion for helping others! Best of luck from the Mayeuxs!||Susan and Kevin Gibbons||09/21/2017||$500.00||Grace, We are so happy to support you as you embark on this amazing experience for such an important cause. You are a remarkable young lady.||Maeve Sheehey||09/15/2017||$25.00||I literally have been meaning to donate until now, so I'm sorry for taking so long! I think that it's so cool that you're doing this! Way to go, Grace!||Dave, Suzanne and Taylor Buck||09/13/2017||$100.00||Good luck Grace!!||Tina Ruffolo||09/13/2017||$50.00||Hi, Grace. What an amazing undertaking to make this run for such a wonderful cause. In honor of Robby's birthday today, he asked that we support your efforts - which we are happy to do! All the best to you & we look forward to meeting you at UNC Family Weekend in October.||Uwa Akhere||09/09/2017||$25.00||I love you and I'm so proud of you Grace! <3<3||Robert Burud||09/07/2017||$500.00||We are very proud of you Grace.||Michael Gibbons||09/07/2017||$50.00||I'm so proud of you Grace, you're gonna do amazing!||Paula Ellis||09/06/2017||$100.00||So proud of you! Go Grace!!||Gretchen Bottrill||09/06/2017||$1,000.00||Your dad is so proud of you!||Clare Gibbons||09/06/2017||$25.00||Good luck, Grace!||Cindy Grim||09/06/2017||$500.00||What a wonderful way to honor your Dad, Grace!||Karen Klemm-Cashion||09/06/2017||$100.00||We're behind you Grace! -Karen and Tim, Kevin and Katie||Grace Burud||08/18/2017||$100.00|