Ryan Litwin is junior at Sacred Heart University. In the summer of 2019, 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 Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
In 2015, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to withdraw from school. I underwent eight different surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy before my eight month battle was over and I was declared cancer free. My cousin Laurie was diagnosed for a second time two weeks after my diagnosis and this brought us closer. Sometimes we felt like we were the only ones who could relate to and support each other. When Laurie passed, it hit home and I will never forget the effects cancer has had on my life. Cancer is extremely prevalent on both my mother’s and father’s side of the family.
I am currently a Certified Nurse’s Aide who often works with cancer patients and their families. I know what it is like to be on both sides of the cancer diagnosis, as the patient and caregiver as well as the diagnosed family member and the supporting family member. In addition, I am a nursing student at Sacred Heart University with hopes of one day becoming an emergency department or surgical nurse.
I will forever be connected to the cancer community and what it has taught me about love, compassion, and the value of life.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
The prospect of helping survivors by raising awareness about young adult cancer and fundraising for the support of young adults and their families is important to me. As a runner with the 4K, we are inspiring someone who is in a position my family and I experienced in 2015 and this makes a difference. While undergoing treatment, it was hard to find someone of the same age who could relate. I greatly appreciated the support of my friends and family, but having someone like a 4K runner would also have been a huge inspiration. Our healthcare system has a large gap in the young adult cancer support community and it will be extremely fulfilling to provide empathy and support to those who are a part of it. The fact that this fundraising process, and giving back to the community would culminate in a run across the United States is even more thrilling to me. I know that as an avid runner, outdoor enthusiast, and cancer survivor, this journey will be life changing.
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!
|Thomas Lawless||03/26/2019||$25.00||You are awesome! Best of Luck, Ryan!||Peggy Smigel||03/25/2019||$50.00||Good luck Ryan! You are amazing!||Nicola Paerg||03/25/2019||$50.00||So proud to have you as apart of the SHU running club! Can't wait to see what is to come of your efforts! :) ~Nicola Paerg||Caroline Norton||03/23/2019||$100.00||I am so proud of you! Good luck on this great run! Lots of love, Grammy oxox||Jill Levasseur||03/20/2019||$40.00||Long may you ride Ryan!||Walter Smolenski||03/19/2019||$100.00||Good Luck Walt & Kathy Smolenski||Jennifer Kollwitz||03/19/2019||$50.00||Wishing you health and happiness on this journey and all the ones to come!||Melissa Cyr||03/18/2019||$10.00||I just read a book about a blind man who did the same trail you are following, SF to Boston. Best of luck and thank you for all you do.||Lori Drube||03/17/2019||$50.00||There are no words to say that can express our gratitude for your life, passion and earthly purpose||Matthew Peel||03/17/2019||$10.00||Ryan, you are an inspiration for everyone at Bacon Academy!! Good luck and have fun!!!||Laurie Lindsey||03/17/2019||$50.00||Good Luck Ryan!||The Praisners||03/17/2019||$250.00||So awesome to see you are still running! All Our Best, The Praisner Family||KC & Juhl||03/17/2019||$200.00||Your positivity, your passion, and your power. We continue to be dazzled. Run, Ryan, Run!||Norah D Furlong||03/17/2019||$50.00||Way to go Ryan! So proud of you!||Amy Hopkins||03/17/2019||$50.00||God bless you and all you meet on your journey.||Abigail Brown||03/13/2019||$50.00||Jaurice Davis||03/12/2019||$20.00||Ryan Litwin||03/12/2019||$99.00||Instagram Fundraiser: Show Love Together Beat Cancer Together||Dennis, Kristen, Owen and Austin Muench||03/07/2019||$100.00||We are so very proud of you! xoxoxoxo||Catherine Pavlowski||03/05/2019||$25.00||Eileen Yost||03/05/2019||$100.00||The Hayes Family||03/05/2019||$200.00||Nancy & Arthur Muench||03/03/2019||$50.00||you are special Ryan||Jody DiCicco||03/01/2019||$20.00||Bonfire||03/01/2019||$159.57||Michael Iannazzi||02/28/2019||$50.00||We are with you, Ryan!||George and Alice Litwin||02/23/2019||$100.00||Ryan, we wish you the very best on your great endeavor. Lots of love from Grandpa and Grandma. xoxo||Michael Rumbel||02/23/2019||$25.00||You're an inspiration Ryan! Break a leg.||Laura Zebitsch||02/17/2019||$25.00||Ryan the nursing community needs more people like you! I will be proud one day to call you a fellow RN. Best of luck||Sunny Ravert||02/13/2019||$10.00||For cool kid supporting an amazing cause||Brian Lumia||02/13/2019||$20.00||James Morello||02/13/2019||$40.00||Alyson Litwin||02/10/2019||$50.00||You're incredible! An inspiration to all||Lisa Aukerman||02/07/2019||$100.00||You are an inspiration Ryan! Best of luck in your run!||Michael & Barbara Litwin||02/07/2019||$400.00||We are so proud of you. You have been thru so much & remain so strong. You're truly an inspiration with your strength, compassion, & focus. We're cheering for you!||Irene Batho||02/03/2019||$25.00||You are an inspiration to your friends.||Laura Marvin||02/01/2019||$25.00||Hannah Phipps||01/21/2019||$5.00||Irene Batho||01/20/2019||$20.00||Hannah Tadic||01/13/2019||$50.00||Josh Belluche||01/06/2019||$50.00||You're an inspiration my friend, keep up the hard work!||Samantha Egna||01/05/2019||$20.00||Good luck Ryan!||Michael John Iadevaia||01/04/2019||$25.00||Good luck man! You are awesome for doing this||Trevor Okonuk||01/04/2019||$2.00||Dick & June Porter||01/02/2019||$500.00||Good luck Ryan! You are truly an amazing young man who has a firm grasp of where you want to go in life. We will follow you across this great country.||Jackie Noftle||12/31/2018||$15.00||Good luck Ryan! You are truly amazing!||Matt Lund||12/31/2018||$25.00||Marlene Halpern||12/31/2018||$200.00||We wish you the best! xoxo Annalyse, William, Emmilia, and Olivia||Carol Collins||12/31/2018||$30.00||I wish you all the best on this endeavor, a new year fuller with everything you want and much good health!||Melissa Barth||12/30/2018||$100.00||Heather Wimler||12/30/2018||$1,000.00||This donation is given in memory of Laurie Wimler by Andy Wimler, Laurie's Dad, and family.||John Hunter||12/30/2018||$50.00||Good luck Ryan! You are amazing!!||Hunter Family||12/30/2018||$50.00||Lauren Hickey||12/29/2018||$15.00||This is such a good cause! Good luck Ryan!||Erik Swain||12/27/2018||$40.00||Good luck!!||Will Urbowicz||12/27/2018||$25.00||Amazing! Good luck Ryan, I hope you continue to help and inspire others!||Christa M||12/27/2018||$20.00||Tom Goodwin||12/27/2018||$25.00||Best of luck Ryan!!||Justin Litwin||12/27/2018||$150.00||You rock! Good luck Bro!||Sarah Batho||12/27/2018||$30.00||You are such an inspiration for everyone!! I wish you the best of luck!!||Dina Grimaldi||12/27/2018||$100.00||Way to go Ryan! You are a legend and an inspiration!||Kevin Litwin||12/27/2018||$100.00||Run bro run!||Anonymous Friend||12/27/2018||$100.00||My family and I truly believe in you! You are so strong and inspiring. We are rooting for you. xoxo - L Kat||Anonymous Friend||12/26/2018||$100.00||Jonathan Danzak||12/26/2018||$100.00||Ashley Thomas||12/26/2018||$25.00||I can't believe you are doing this! Good luck Ryan, I'll be rooting for you!||Ethan Maynard||12/26/2018||$20.00||I'm sorry I couldn't give more! I hope this at least helps||Nate Baldi||12/26/2018||$40.00||Way to go Ryan!||Jordan Balaban||12/26/2018||$18.00||You're a hero Ryan!||Ryan Litwin||12/21/2018||$100.00|