New York here I come!
November 04, 2016
BENEFITING: The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, Inc.
ORGANIZER: The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
As many of you may know, I became engaged to the love of my life, my college sweetheart, in February 2015. I remember that day vividly. It was his 29th birthday. We went skydiving that morning, and that evening he asked me to be his forever. Little did we know that shortly after celebrating his birthday and our engagement, our life would be turned upside down. Just 2 weeks after our engagement, he was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer that had metastasized to his liver. He had two tumors in his colon, eight lesions in the right lobe of his liver, and two lesions in the left lobe of his liver. At this point, there was not enough healthy tissue left in his liver for the surgeons to remove the cancerous portions and leave him with enough to survive. According to his surgeon, if this had happened two years ago, there would have been nothing they could do for him. Even now, it was going to be a gamble and depended on how he handled chemotherapy and how his liver responded to surgery. Thankfully, we have been blessed in witnessing God's grace along with multiple miracles as he has gone through and continues to go through treatment. We thank God for his guiding hand and continued grace throughout this journey because, without him, Kale's success this far would not have been possible.
Now, not all of it has gone smoothly, and the whole experience in general has been emotionally, physically, and financially challenging. Emotionally, he has had to experience going from being a healthy, active, independent young adult to living at his parents’, constantly fatigued from treatment and unable to work. He also experienced the heartbreak of being cleared to start nursing school, but then having to withdraw due to surgical complications after his colon resection forcing him to again postpone the start of nursing school. Physically and financially, the 16 chemotherapy sessions and three, going on four, surgeries have caused him to lose weight, strength, endurance, and independence. Cancer does not discriminate when it comes to age, and we have experienced that first hand.
From the moment you are diagnosed with cancer, life as you know it is changes forever. It is terrifying for the patient, their loved ones, and all involved. Luckily for Kale and me, we have an incredible support system, and our faith in God’s greater plan has kept us positive and strong through most of the trials, but that still does not mean it has been an easy 15 months. In fact, this has been the most challenging and life-altering experience for the both of us thus far. There are so many questions that go along with a cancer diagnosis, and not all individuals have the support or access to information that they need. The challenges faced by those who have just gained their independence or started a new family, having so much to look forward to, but are then diagnosed with cancer need to be addressed, which is what the Ulman Cancer Fund aims to achieve!
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 multiple support services and resources for the young adult cancer community, including the Cancer to 5k Run/Walk Program to reintroduce cancer survivors to physical activity, one-on-one support and resources to young adults and their families to help them manage the cancer experience via phone or onsite at five major cancer centers, scholarships for continued education after being affected by cancer, and more. For more information as to where exactly your donations go, take a look at http://ulmanfund.org/yoursupport/
From my personal experience and, I am sure, some of your own, it is clear that cancer changes lives, but so do we! My fiancé is my motivation and my inspiration to begin this endeavor and train for the NYC Marathon to raise funds for other young adults just like him. This organization’s mission hits very close to home for me, and I could not pass up the opportunity to work with them to help others in need. Every donation, no matter the amount, will go towards this incredible cause that can help make the transition of life after a cancer diagnosis of other young adults a little less terrifying. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for supporting me in my journey to the finish line of the New York City Marathon!