Roark McLean is a sophomore at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 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 New York, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
My Aunt Mirt, my grandfather I never knew, my family. These people are my connection to the cancer community. I never had the pleasure of meeting my grandfather on my mom’s side of the family. I never got the chance to sit on his lap, to give him a hug, to tell him about the best friends I’ve made. These memories were taken from me when he died from Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia. The doctors said that he had 5-25 years to live, but he died 1 year later. I wish I could have known him. More recently I have seen my Aunt Mirt struggle with ovarian cancer. She has fought the cancer for three years now. Her doctors recently gave us the prognosis that they have one course of treatment to pursue and if it is not effective there are no other medical options available. I hurt every day, knowing that she hurts. Aunt Mirt is strong and she has taught me that you must put on a brave face and give the fight your best everyday so that each day is a step forward.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I am running for those who can’t run, for those whom cancer has stolen the opportunity to run across the country and to encourage their dreams. I run for the tired, the struggling, those losing hope. Specifically, I run in the name of my Aunt Mirt, my grandfather Herb, and those I will meet along the way. In this endeavor, I look forward to the new experiences, people, places, and cultures I will encounter. I am a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I run with the Cross Country Club team. Running has always meant something special to me, an ability to lose myself in the beauty of nature, to enjoy the adventure of pounding the pavement, and to make a family of friends with teammates. I am participating in the 4k to push my limits, to see what I can do, and to give of myself every day in the communities that my 4k team visits. I will not stop until I know I have done all I can for those who need a helping hand or some encouragement. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am running for everyone in the cancer community. We are all one team and I can’t wait to put the team on my back and hit the road.
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!
|John Fishburne||11/20/2017||$100.00||Good luck on your noble cause.||Jim & Susan Seyfried||11/20/2017||$150.00||Jim Rosenberger||11/20/2017||$50.00||Roark McLean||11/20/2017||$1,000.00||Our thoughs and prayers will be with you as you embark on this fantastic journey. Danny & Carolyn McLean a/ka/ Grandfather and Grandmother||Cynthia and Al Calabria||11/19/2017||$500.00||Proud of you Roark. You are making a difference.||Kim & Jon Curley||11/19/2017||$100.00||Way to go Roark! Thanks for making the world a better place!||Kelly Calabria||11/19/2017||$100.00||Karen Cumbo||11/19/2017||$25.00||Bradley Sellers||11/19/2017||$100.00||Proud of you Roark and thrilled to support you in honor of my dad, Ed Sellers, who died from colon cancer too young.||Herb & Leila Hooper||11/19/2017||$250.00||Sue Shuster||11/18/2017||$50.00||Roark McLean||11/03/2017||$100.00|