Cancer survivor Hope Jarvis knows the importance of community when fighting cancer, which is why she is helping host 25 people who are biking across the country to raise money for young people dealing with cancer.
4K for Cancer, a project of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, is an annual fund-raiser in which more than 150 college students bike from Baltimore to the Pacific Ocean, to either Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, or San Diego. Tonight, the group heading toward Seattle will be hosted at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Perrysburg, where Ms. Jarvis serves as outreach coordinator.
“They gave us more than we gave them,” said Ms. Jarvis of Perrysburg, referring to when the group came to St. Timothy’s last year. “They are an inspirational group of young people.”
The Ulman Cancer Fund, a national nonprofit, was founded in 1996 by Doug Ulman and his family when Mr. Ulman was diagnosed with cancer as a sophomore in college. They were not satisfied with the support resources available to young adults — too old for pediatric care but far younger than many others fighting cancer in the same hospitals.
Now, Mr. Ulman is the chief executive officer of Pelotonia, a Columbus bike ride that also raises money for cancer research — and draws more than 8,000 participants. Mr. Ulman never did the 4K for Cancer, but he did ride with this year’s group Thursday morning as they left Columbus for Upper Sandusky.
“The leadership development and community building aspect is so important,” Mr. Ulman said. “They have dedicated so much time and energy.”
Skylar Marcoux participated in the running portion of the 4K for Cancer after she graduated from college in 2013. She ran with her childhood best friend, whose father had recently died from pancreatic cancer.
“Meeting people along the way was inspiring,” said Ms. Marcoux, who now works for 4K for Cancer as its program coordinator.
Today’s route covers about 70 miles from Upper Sandusky to Perrysburg. When the riders get to St. Timothy’s in the afternoon, they will be greeted with food, and community members will drive them in groups to the YMCA to shower.
The church will host a barbecue at 6:30 p.m., which is open to both church volunteers and the broader community.
“Riders want to share their stories with as many people as possible,” Ms. Jarvis said.
Before the bikers leave Saturday morning, they will participate in a ceremony during which they will share the stories of the people in whose honor they are riding. Community members are welcome to share their own cancer stories, too.
Breakfast and the ceremony begin at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Contact Gabby Deutch at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6516, or on Twitter @GSDeutch.
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