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Hello Everyone!  I realized yesterday that there are some people who follow my blog who would have no other way of knowing about my journey with 4K For Cancer this summer.  To those people I apologize; I have been focusing on talking with people in person and I forgot those who follow TINEIS!  So let me tell you about my journey 🙂

UCF Logo4K For Cancer is a cross-country bike ride dedicated to supporting young adults with cancer.  This summer I will begin in Baltimore, MD and cycle to Seattle, WA alongside 30 other students and recent graduates.  Our mission is to spread awareness about young adults cancer, to raise funds that will support cancer patients and their families, and to foster hope and create connections among members of the cancer community.

Each of us is required to raise at least $4,500 as part of the program, but I am aiming to raise $7,500 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.  The organization runs a number of programs that specifically target young adults ranging from 15 to 40 years of age.  Young adults struggle with cancer in a way unique to the age group.  They are diagnosed at a rate 8 times that of children.  Lack of adequate insurance, whether it be uninsured or underinsured, is highest among young adults.  This leads to dangerous delays in diagnosis and treatment that can have life-threatening consequences.  In fact, the gap in survival rates between young adults and other age groups is increasing:

The strides that have served to make cancer a chronic disease for many have generally bypassed young adults. Today, cancer is the leading disease killer among 20 to 39 year olds. While both younger and older patients are seeing improvements in survival rates, the rates for young adults have improved far less, and the gap is worsening. As a result of this lack of progress in survival improvement since 1975, young adults diagnosed with cancer today have a worse prognosis than those diagnosed 25 years ago.

I joined the 4K because I love cycling and I am intimately connected with the cancer community.  My grandfather, Milton Kendrick, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000 and struggled painfully for four years before passing away in 2004.  Those years were the hardest of my life.  I was dealing with the changes of my early teen years, struggling with the health of Poppop, and watching our family’s security and stability crumble.  Although he was in his 70s, in some ways Poppop’s story was much like that of many young adults: he was underinsured, lacked financial security, and had a limited network of support.  Above all else, I ride for him.

The 4K is going to be a long and strenuous journey, but I am so excited to be dedicating my summer to supporting young adults with cancer.  Please, help me in my quest to raise $7,500 for the Ulman Cancer Fund by visiting my donation page and making a small donation.  Every little bit counts!

Check out this video about the Ulman Cancer Fund:

 

5 ways you can help:

  1. Make a donation.  Every little bit helps!
  2. Spread the word!  Tell people about what I am doing and why I am doing it! Join my Facebook group.
  3. If you know a survivor or someone currently in treatment, ask them if they would like to participate in the Pedal Pals program.
  4. Learn about cancer’s affect on young adults.
  5. Volunteer with the Ulman Cancer Fund or similar organizations.
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