Pawel Maslag is a senior at Columbia University. In the summer of 2018, he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 49-day, 4000+ mile run from San Francisco to Boston, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I embarked on a journey last summer by becoming a summer counselor at Camp Boggy Creek in Florida, a camp for children living with severe illnesses. During the summer we had two sessions dedicated to children that have or are currently fighting cancer. The campers ranged between the ages of eleven to thirteen, some were currently going through treatment, whilst others in complete remission. The weeks were filled with emotions, from sadness to joy to nervousness, and all in-between.
Throughout the week we had "cabin chats," a time for the campers to reflect, share, and connect at the end of the day with the cabin community. The following two questions were based on what they can do outside of camp. I asked, “How do you plan on changing the world?” They talked about inspiring the world outside the camp through their experiences fighting cancer — they all wanted to make an impact on others outside of camp. The next question was: “What does being brave mean to you?”
One answer struck me most: “Being brave means being yourself.” The conversation led to how they can take their goofy and silly Camp Boggy Creek selves into the outside world. The same selves that threw food at each other and cheered at the top of their lungs, the same selves that painted their nails and spray painted their hair. Camp Boggy Creek provided an outlet for themselves to be more than just children with cancer — it provided a place for them to be themselves.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
Camp was filled with joy, laughs, and adventure — the campers were truly themselves, as kids being kids. There were moments where I could only cry, when I realized that they were fighting cancer. The day would be going amazing, but then it was time for them to get their chemotherapy treatment; I was reminded that they were kids, they were kids fighting a deadly disease. As the camp theme is the “joy of yes,” I believe in the campers abilities and aspirations — as they simply just want to be kids. I want to be able to help provide a space where young people fighting cancer can be their true selves and be surrounded by those that allow them to be exactly that — young people. 4k for Cancer will give me the opportunity to raise awareness and funding for an organization that provides a network for young people fighting cancer.
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!
|Heather McLevin||03/12/2018||$3,000.00||You are you, and that’s A LOT. Keep doing what you do!||Gordon Moodie||03/05/2018||$100.00||Adriano Mesquita||03/05/2018||$80.00||Good luck and keep up with the inspiring good work and spreading positivity for a better world!||Jonny Fine||03/04/2018||$250.00||In awe of and inspired by you - go Pawel !! Amazing ambition and drive !!!||Keith Komar||03/04/2018||$150.00||Crush it Pawel!||Netta-Lee Lax||03/03/2018||$72.00||Anonymous Friend||02/19/2018||$100.00||Matthew Graziano||02/18/2018||$200.00||Good luck, Pawel!||Kristen Lam||02/15/2018||$100.00||Larry and Marie Haavik||02/15/2018||$75.00||You are amazing. God speed❤️❤️||Rob Gregg||02/14/2018||$100.00||kathy leake||02/14/2018||$200.00||Go Pawel!||Jesse Cherry||02/14/2018||$30.00||Good luck buddy!||Pawel Maslag||02/11/2018||$100.00|