Valerie Rasicci is a graduate of Ohio State University. In the summer of 2019, she will be traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70-day, 4000+ mile ride from Baltimore to San Francisco, raising money and awareness for the Ulman Foundation.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
When I was three I lost my mom to cancer. I spent a lot of my life being sad and upset about losing her, and feeling like everything was out of my control. But in my third year at Ohio State in 2015, I heard about Pelotonia--a ride in Columbus that raises money for cancer research at The James Comprehensive Cancer Center. This opened my world to something new. I felt like I could really make a change, and maybe one day no more young girls would have to lose their moms.
In 2016, I heard about the 4K for Cancer and the Ulman Foundation. On a whim, I applied. Then I was accepted. And then I committed to the ride. It was all such a whirlwind. And before I knew it, I was riding across the country with the weirdest, greatest people I've ever met. Not only did my team mold me into a better version of myself, I also met amazing people along the way, like the Emerson family and Pastor Jerry and so many more amazing community members, who continue to inspire me. There are people all over the United States affected by cancer, and it showed me how resilient people can be.
In 2017 and I had the opportunity to intern for the amazing Pelotonia with one of my teammates, Alex LaVallee, from Team Portland 2016. And on July 4, 2017, we were given the horrible news that our best friend and teammate, Jeremy Pope, was struck by a car on his way home from work and didn't make it. It was the most devastating news I had ever received. The rest of my 2017 was filled with deaths and cancer diagnoses of people I care for so deeply. 2017 left me feeling out of control.
Throughout 2018, I have worked to come back down to earth. I have often felt at a loss, and like I don't care about the things I used to. I'm working to get back to normal in 2018, and I hope that 2019 can be filled with more adventure and excitement. Life is too short, and I know that all too well.
Why are you traveling 4,000 miles this summer with the Ulman Foundation?
The 4K has taught me that life is short and time is precious. It should be spent doing what you love with people that make you the best version of yourself. My team gave me so much hope and life. After the loss of Jeremy, through the hurt I am reminded that life should be an adventure. I want to ride not only in his memory, but in the memory of all the loved ones I’ve lost and the people I continue to meet along the way. To ride with the 4K again is an honor, and I will be a better version of who I was last time. I will Live Like Jeremy!
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!
|Emily Baas||12/21/2018||$25.00||YAS, Val!! The bandanas you gave us in C-bus kept us strong and we made sure to shotgun in some cornfields. Lurve -PDX 18||Laura Kasella||11/13/2018||$25.00||SO proud of my 4K twin! you're gonna do an amazing job and always know you've got all of the Portland fam's support keep San Fran weird? I guess? hehe lots of PDX love <3 -Lars||Valerie Rasicci||11/12/2018||$100.00|