Simon Melton is a sophomore at The Ohio State University. In the summer of 2018 he will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70 day, 4,000+ mile ride from Baltimore to Seattle raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
When I was 5 years old, I didn’t know what cancer was. I didn’t know why my grandmother wore hats to cover her head. I didn’t think twice when I would see her with a different hairstyle from when I last saw her. Or why she always wore pink and showed me pictures of her friends on long walks. For two years of my early childhood, that’s just what I was used to when grandma came to town. My grandmother had breast cancer.
I am blessed that after two years of treatment and countless prayers sent my grandmother’s way, she entered remission and I never had to know the severity of her condition, until many years later when I was old enough to understand.
Fast forward to when I was 17; my grandfather tested positive for prostate cancer. This time around I was much more aware of the risk and I could tell how this news affected my family. Thankfully, after a short year of treatment, my grandfather was also cured. I realize how lucky I am that both cases to have turned out alright. I have reflected on how, unfortunately, common cancer can be after these perspective-changing events.
Now at Ohio State, I take part in BuckeyeThon (one of the largest, annual, 12-hour dance marathons in the country) to raise both money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Last year BuckeyeThon raised $1,510,036.39 and I am proud to have been/continue to be a part of it.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
I am constantly looking for my next adventure. I love to be different and seek out the challenges that my friends have never done or even thought about doing (like biking across America!) I have traveled all over Europe but have never even been to my home country’s west coast. Whatever stage of life I’m in, I always try to find a team or group of people with my same interests and passions. Leading an active lifestyle is something I am passionate about.
I also love to have a positive impact on people. Getting to do things like raise money, personally deliver scholarships/funds, and just get to know people that we would be affecting directly would be one of the greatest feelings. I realize how lucky I am. I love to care for people who are less fortunate than I am.
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!
|Krispy Kreme Fundraiser||02/22/2018||$155.00||Thanks Krispy Kreme!||Brother Debiec, Ashenfelter, He, Lydey & Zack Handorf||02/17/2018||$64.00||Ride your a** off, go get it this summer||Lauren Covetta||02/17/2018||$10.00||What you're doing is extraordinary - hope you reach your goal and have an incredible ride this summer.||Mark Brown||01/22/2018||$10.00||Kelli & Lance Coulter||01/21/2018||$50.00||So excited for you and this amazing opportunity! What a wonderful way to help others. Good luck this summer and we will be thinking about you during your journey!||Charlotte Beard||01/20/2018||$100.00||Matt Schmidt||01/18/2018||$50.00||Good luck. Looking forward to hearing all about it.||Angela Petrie||01/17/2018||$30.00||Good luck, Simon! I can't wait to hear about the trip next fall!||Robert Strauss||01/15/2018||$25.00||Kurt & Amy Waldner||01/08/2018||$100.00||Good luck on your ride! What an amazing experience tied into an amazing cause!||Shelby Nixon||01/07/2018||$100.00||Paul and Mary Brown||12/28/2017||$100.00||Simon, we look forward to following your adventure. What a way to see the USA!||Krista Ferguson||12/26/2017||$100.00||Simon - you are an inspiration. Looking forward to photos from your trek across the U.S. for such a great cause.||Pat Creagmile||12/26/2017||$50.00||Merry Christmas! Have a safe trip.||Jim and Chris Melton||12/26/2017||$100.00||Simon - so proud of you and your adventurous spirit. Happy to help with such a great cause.||Ann Delehanty-Koenig||12/11/2017||$100.00||Simon, this is so cool...what a great cause and adventure! I wish I could be riding alongside you (well...maybe for like 25 miles or something...!) I'm proud of you for your grit and desire to battle. And there's no better way to see the USA!||Katie Wright||12/05/2017||$100.00||Simon, Best of luck to you on this journey. May you ride knowing the love that surrounds you. I am always so proud of the person you are and happiness you put into this world! "Oh, the places you will go!" I love you, buddy! Katie Wright||Stephanie Ellis||12/04/2017||$50.00||This is amazing Simon! Good luck and be safe!||Debby Henderson||11/28/2017||$150.00||Simon your heart is full of goodness and your spirit is full of adventure! Behind you all the way! Brian and Debby Henderson||Nikki Kamil||11/27/2017||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||11/16/2017||$300.00||We love you & are proud of all you do!||Rob Atteberry||11/16/2017||$25.00||Good luck on the ride! GO!GO!GO!||Uncle Ron and Aunt Julie Melnyk||11/16/2017||$125.00||Excited for you as you take on this new challenge! Love ya and GO BLUE!||Andrea Nichols||11/16/2017||$50.00||I am so proud of you and inspired by you! (Love the writing on your fundraising page, too!) Can’t wait to hear about your journey.||Alex Garvin||11/08/2017||$100.00||Good luck Simon! I can't wait to hear about it.||Melanie Contratto||11/07/2017||$100.00||So proud of you! Have a wonderful and safe trip!||Doug Leist||11/06/2017||$100.00||I am so inspired by you, Simon! Best of luck and safe travels!||Ann & Terry Melton||11/01/2017||$300.00||So proud of you Simon! Love you! Nana and Papa||Julie Onnen||10/30/2017||$50.00||Juan Tramontin||10/25/2017||$50.00||Always changing lives. Endlessly proud of you!!||Anonymous Friend||10/24/2017||$25.00||Way to go, Simon!||Kyle McCarthy||10/24/2017||$40.00||Proud my man!||Jesse Wildman||10/24/2017||$20.00||This is admirable. Best of luck.||Anonymous Friend||10/24/2017||$25.00||Keep leading by example and being an inspiration, Simon!||Simon Melton||10/18/2017||$100.00|