Valerie Shutt is a sophomore at Kentucky Wesleyan College. In the summer of 2018 she 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?
My grandpa was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 and when I found out I was devastated. I've always looked up to my grandpa and thought of him as my role model. He never ceased to amaze me throughout his journey with cancer because even though I knew he was in pain, he always kept a smile on his face and remained positive through the tough times. He always loved going to my cross country meets and his support meant the world to me. Everyday when I would go to my grandparents house, he would ask me how practice went and when my next meet was. On October 27, 2013 he passed away and since then it's given me a new purpose for running. When I lace up my running shoes and walk out the door, I don't just run for myself, I run for my grandpa and everyone else who has cancer or has loved ones with cancer.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?
When I started running in the 8th grade, I never imagined all of the memories I would make and the amazing experiences I would encounter. This summer, I want to make even more memories by running for those who have been affected by cancer. This is not only be a great way to meet different individuals battling cancer, but also a way for me to give back to the community as well. While traveling from San Francisco to Boston, I will be running in remembrance of my grandpa, the person who always supported me and never gave up on me even when I felt like giving up on myself.
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!