20 Years of Changing Lives

Dear Friends & Supporters,

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

This sentiment guided our Key to Keys team as they rode their bikes to Florida this April, and it represents the path we follow as an organization. Together with far more than 100,000 people who have supported the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in some way over the past two decades, you have made great strides in surrounding young adults and their loved ones, impacted by cancer, with an affirming and welcoming community.

Thank you for the contributions you have made – of your time, spirit, and finances. The ripple effect we have collectively created has reached far and wide, and thanks to you, countless young adults have not had to face cancer alone.

We couldn’t be more excited about reaching our twentieth anniversary this fall, and we hope you will pause with us to celebrate, reflect, and recommit. Please save the dates on the below calendar, and join us to go together into the next twenty years.

Cancer changes lives… SO DO YOU!

Sincerely,


Brock Yetso

 


Capital Campaign Update

About four years ago, we started to dream about the next big idea for UCF – a place for young adults to stay, while receiving treatment, that is affordable, community-focused, and most importantly – meets them where they are as young adults. Countless focus groups, donor visits, and pre-construction meetings later, the UCF House is becoming a reality! The renovation is underway and we can’t thank you enough for making this ambitious project happen.

Along the way, we have faced tough challenges but even greater opportunities. The initial plan was to renovate three rowhouses, which, as you know, were in rough shape. We set our capital campaign goal of $3 Million and announced it to the UCF community, and we were off! Several months later, thanks to some good investigative work to locate an out-of-town owner and the generosity of a good friend, we were able to DOUBLE the size of the project to six rowhouses!

Now facing both the challenge of a higher project cost and the opportunity to welcome even more partners in philanthropy, we are thrilled to announce an increase of our capital campaign goal to $4 Million.  Please join us to help spread the word about the UCF House and our other important campaign priorities!


20 Years Strong

As we continue to celebrate our 20th Anniversary stay tuned to our website and social media accounts for upcoming events and post highlighting members of our community.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ulmancancerfund

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ulmancancerfund 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ulmancancerfnd

Snapchat: @ ulmancancerfund

By |August 28th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon to Host First Disabled Woman Triathlete

On Sunday, August 16, 2015 approximately 1800 women, ranging in age from 13 to 80, will participate in the 10th Annual Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. Among those women will be Columbia, Maryland’s very own Defu Fekadu, the first disabled woman triathlete to participate in this race.

A Columbia, Maryland staple and an introductory triathlon for many women in the area, the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon is an inspiring women’s event on many levels, but getting a glimpse of Defu and her team at this year’s race is sure to be the most inspiring sight to see. Defu will be supported by a team of women from Athletes Serving Athletes, a non-profit organization that empowers athletes living with disabilities to train and compete in mainstream running and triathlon events. Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA) provides the assistance of able-bodied volunteers termed “Wingmen” and Defu will not only be the first disabled woman to participate in this event, but ASA will also provide for the first time, a complete team of women “Wingmen” to support her along the way.

The team consists of swimmer, Aleah Zinalabedini; biker, Melinda Peters and runner, Kerry Blackmer who will all work together with the help of their team leader, Jennifer Roussillon to assist Defu across the Iron Girl finish line. When asked about Defu and the experience so far, the ASA Wingmen each have an empowering and inspiring story of their own to share.

“Defu told me that ASA has given her a voice,” said Melinda Peters, biker wingman. “I think she is brave, not only for competing in this race but for constantly motivating and teaching others that they too can do anything they put their mind to.”

“I’m truly honored that Defu and ASA are giving me the opportunity to swim with her in this year’s Iron Girl,” said Aleah Zinalabedini, swimmer wingman. “I am consistently inspired by her beautiful smile, incredible outlook on life and ability to work through her fears with grace.”

“I’ll never forget the first time I met Defu,” said Kerry Blackmer, runner wingman. “I’m not sure that I realized then the profound impact Athletes Serving Athletes and Defu would have on my life.”

It is easy to get caught up in medals, times, awards and personal records in a race like the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. Team Defu stands as a reminder that this race means so much more than that. This race, and anything like it that is a true test of physical strength and mental endurance, is about empowerment and finding the courage to do something that might seem impossible.

“Just like any athlete, Defu, has been training for Iron Girl. She has gone outside of her comfort zone and continues to push forward,” said Jennifer Roussillon, team leader. “Simply put, Defu is the epitome of what it means to be an Iron Girl, and I am honored and humbled to be on this journey with her.”

The 10 Year Anniversary of the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon will take place on Sunday, August 16, 2015 in and around Centennial Park in Columbia, Maryland. The race will start with the swim portion at approximately 6:50 a.m. and continue through the late morning. For more details on the event and to view results after the event, visit www.ulmanfund.org/ucfraces/ .
About the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults & UCF Races

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (ulmanfund.org) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer. Founded in 1997, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults works at both the local and national level to ensure that all young adults impacted by cancer have a voice and the necessary resources to thrive.
UCF Races was established in 2010 to further the mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. UCF Races produces first class endurance events that enrich the community, celebrate the achievements of every participant and ultimately spread awareness of the young adult cancer fight.

 

About Athletes Serving Athletes

Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA) is a non-profit organization located in Maryland that empowers athletes living with disabilities to train and compete in mainstream running and triathlon events. Most ASA athletes have very limited to no mobility and compete with the assistance of able-bodied volunteers termed “Wingmen” (men and women, young and old, fast and slow). ASA offers innovative athletic training, supportive mentor relationships, and high quality endurance events for athletes living with disabilities – all of which are free of charge to the individuals and families served. To support or learn more about ASA please visit: www.athletesservingathletes.org

Whole Foods Market Columbia to Sponsor 2015 Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon

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UCF Races and the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults are proud to announce a partnership with Whole Foods Market Columbia for the 2015 Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Family 5K. With a focus on providing the community with natural and organic products and ways to lead a healthy lifestyle, Whole Foods Market Columbia will now serve as the presenting sponsor for the 13.1 mile women’s race and 5K family race to be held on September 12, 2015.

Known as one of the best women’s events in the Mid-Atlantic, the Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Family 5K, enhances the participant race experience even more with this partnership with Whole Foods Market Columbia, offering participants complimentary and discounted food items, nutrition tips and access to other all natural products on race day and in the months leading up to the event.

The Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Family 5K will start and finish at the Columbia Town Center, home to the 45,000 square foot Whole Foods Market which opened in late 2014. While on the 13.1 mile course route, participants will pass the store location twice and all participants and spectators will have the opportunity to take part in a post-race celebration at the square adjacent to the store.

“Whole Foods Market Columbia has been a partner of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults since it opened last year. In addition to being located on the race course, this partnership makes sense to us as we focus on the health and wellness of our community,” said Brian Satola, UCF Races Race Director. “We’re thrilled to have Whole Foods Market Columbia as the presenting sponsor, their presence and participation will not only enhance our event, but also strengthen our community in Howard County.”

“We are excited to continue this partnership and support the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults,” said Svetlana Bautista, Store Team Leader. “Supporting our community is one of Whole Foods Market’s core values, and this is a great opportunity for us at Whole Foods Market Columbia to serve our neighbors and cheer for our community as they cross the finish line.”

Registration for the 2015 Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Family 5K presented by Whole Foods Market Columbia is open online at www.ulmanfund.org/ucfraces through August 21, 2015. All proceeds from the race benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

About the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults & UCF Races

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (ulmanfund.org) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer. Founded in 1997, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults works at both the local and national level to ensure that all young adults impacted by cancer have a voice and the necessary resources to thrive.

UCF Races was established in 2010 to further the mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. UCF Races produces first class endurance events that enrich the community, celebrate the achievements of every participant and ultimately spread awareness of the young adult cancer fight.

About Whole Foods Market® 

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” byHealth magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

 

UCF Voted A Best Non-Profit Again In 2015!

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We are proud to announce that The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults has been honored as a “Best Non-Profit to Work For” by The Non-Profit Times! Released on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015, UCF was placed fifth among all participating, non-profits and fourth among the small non-profits. This marks the second year that we have received this honor!

The Best Nonprofits program is one that is open to all nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status that have a facility with a minimum of 15 employees, in the United States. The assessment process was managed for The NonProfits Times by Best Companies Group (BCG) in Harrisburg, PA, an independent workplace research firm specializing in identifying and recognizing great places to work throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The driving questions that determine the overall rankings came down to, “Do you have confidence in the leadership of your organization?”, “On most days, do you feel like you have made progress at work?”, and “Do you feel part of a team working toward a shared goal?”

Of the small organizations (with 15-49 employees), one of the biggest factors between those that made the cut, and those that didn’t, were on issues of flexible office hours and telecommuting. The second biggest factor that separated the winning small non-profits from the rest were those organizations that promoted exercise and provided wellness programs in the workplace.

“We are honored and proud to be recognized by The NonProfit Times as a Best Nonprofit to Work for 2015,” said Brock Yetso, UCF President & CEO. “Our team works hard each day to provide a community of support for young adults and their loved ones affected by cancer. It’s rewarding to know that the organization is also providing a great work environment for our passionate and dedicated staff.”

Read more about the results of The NonProfitTimes Best Nonprofits to Work 2015 here.

UCF Acquires Ride Across Maryland

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Two Maryland Charities Join Forces To Grow Cancer Support Resources!

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The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, Inc., and the Ride Across Maryland Foundation, Inc., are joining forces to better serve the cancer community. Both organizations have long recognized the importance of providing direct support to patients and families affected by the disease and believe that coming together will serve even more people in need.

The Ulman Cancer Fund began in 1997, shortly after Doug Ulman, a then 19-year old student and athlete at Brown University, was diagnosed with cancer, not once, but three times. Readjusting to college after such life-altering events proved challenging, and few resources existed at the time to address the unique needs of young adults affected by cancer. Recognizing this void of support, Doug and his family created the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which works at both the community level and with national partners to raise awareness of young adult cancer and to equip those affected with both an empowering voice and essential resources. Believing that every young adult diagnosed with cancer deserves hope and support, the Ulman Cancer Fund strives to improve lives through collaboration, perseverance, integrity and compassion.

The Ride Across Maryland Foundation began in 2000, by Dick Gelfman and his family. Dick was a well-known attorney and reporter for WJZ-TV in Baltimore. He was an avid motorcyclist and thankful for having a healthy family. He brought together a group of friends to organize an annual motorcycle ride that would raise money for the fight against breast cancer. The first ride was in 2001, and since that time, the Foundation has awarded over $2.5 million to various organizations that assist patients and their families dealing with breast cancer.

2015 will mark Ride Across Maryland’s 15th Anniversary, and according to Gelfman, “This is the perfect time to join forces with an organization like the Ulman Cancer Fund that has a proven track record of making a direct impact in the lives of people affected by cancer.” As the Ride transitions into an event that will support the mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the Ulman Cancer Fund will create a new scholarship that will be awarded to a young adult breast cancer survivor or young adult impacted by the breast cancer diagnosis of a parent or sibling. It will be called The Ride Across Maryland Scholarship.

About the acquisition, Brock Yetso, CEO of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, commented, “We are thrilled to add The Ride Across Maryland to the Ulman Cancer Fund’s already robust platform of awareness, support and fundraising events. On a personal note, I have known the Gelfmans since I was a young child, and both of our families’ lives have unfortunately been impacted in a significant way by this terrible disease. We are honored that Dick and the Ride Across Maryland Board are entrusting us to sustain and grow the Ride Across Maryland, and I am confident that we will be able to help more people affected by cancer as a result.”

As an event of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, funds raised through the Ride Across Maryland will make a direct impact on the lives of young adults impacted by cancer, including young adults fighting breast cancer. The organization will continue to be known as the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, with offices in Columbia and Baltimore.

To register for this year’s event, which will take place May 30-31, please visit www.rideacrossmaryland.org.

About The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults:

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, founded in 1997, is the national leader in providing specialized support for young adults affected by cancer. With nearly 70,000 young adults diagnosed every year, UCF helps young people fight the disease and navigate treatment by providing access to information and other specialized programs. UCF Patient Navigation can be accessed remotely or through onsite Patient Navigators at a growing number of hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic region. UCF changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, as they fight cancer and embrace survivorship. For more information, please visit, http://www.ulmancancerfund.org.

Media Contact Information:

Shara Boonshaft UCF Director, Development & Stewardship 

(410) 964-0202 x 112, shara@ulmanfund.org

No Way! UCF Re-Launches Guidebook For Young Adults Facing Cancer

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For Immediate Release: February 26, 2015

The Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults Re-Launches Guidebook For Young Adults Facing Cancer

This powerful tool provides suggestions, ideas and valuable information to help young adults navigate their cancer journey

Baltimore, MD: The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) will be celebrating the release of their updated guidebook – No Way, It Can’t Be: A Guidebook for Young Adults Facing Cancer – at a gathering on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 3 p.m. Doug Ulman and his mother, Diana Ulman, wrote this guidebook as a resource for young adults dealing with cancer, from the initial diagnosis through long-term survivorship. At Monday’s event, Diana will present the new guidebook to social workers, nurses, and other medical professionals from local hospitals and cancer centers with whom UCF works.

UCF Founder and co-author, Doug Ulman shared, “Finding out I had cancer at age 19 changed the course of my life. Immediately thrown into a world of challenges to overcome, I found myself struggling to find information and support programs that could help me navigate having cancer as a young adult. Born out of frustration and a real need to support other young adults facing cancer, my mother Diana and I wrote this guidebook in 1997 and it has changed lives. We’re excited to be re-launching the new guidebook in the community.” To date, over 10,000 copies of No Way have been distributed to patients and families in all 50 states.

President and CEO, Brock Yetso stated, “We are excited to share the new guidebook in our community and beyond. No Way, It Can’t Be! offers new and improved resources, information and perspectives for young adults and their families and friends. We hope that our local and national partners will embrace the new guidebook and continue offering it as a tool for the young adults they serve.”

No Way, It Can’t Be! is slated for nationwide distribution. A copy of the guidebook is available for download as a PDF on the UCF website (http://ulmanfund.org/gethelp-cancer-resource-directory/).

About Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults:

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, founded in 1997, is the national leader in providing specialized support for young adults affected by cancer. With nearly 70,000 young adults diagnosed every year, UCF helps young people fight the disease and navigate treatment by providing access to information and other specialized programs. UCF Patient Navigation can be accessed remotely or through onsite Patient Navigators at a growing number of hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic region. UCF changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, as they fight cancer and embrace survivorship. For more information, please visit, http://www.ulmancancerfund.org.

Media Contact Information:
Shara Boonshaft
UCF Director, Development & Stewardship
(410) 964-0202 x 112

By |February 26th, 2015|News, Press Release|0 Comments

Rememberlutions

photo credit: Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed

photo credit: Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed

#facingtheissues, Allison Isaacson

I’ve never really liked New Year’s resolutions. Over 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions annually and only 8% actually keep them throughout the year. That is WONDERFUL for that 8%, but as history shows, I am usually not in that 8%. People break their resolutions so quickly that January 17th has officially been deemed “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.” If you’re still keeping up with your resolution, congratulations! You are ahead of the curve.

People with resolutions have such good intentions. It’s a shame to see resolutioners get discouraged and feel bad about themselves after they can no longer maintain 8 hours of sleep every night, the Paleo diet, or their rigorous exercise plans. Instead of focusing on what we don’t accomplish in 2015, I propose we celebrate what we DO accomplish this year.

Every person has different mountains to climb, but every step that means something to you should be recognized.

Buzzfeed recently posted an article on how to make “Rememberlutions Jars” (you should read it!). Rememberlutions Jars are exactly what they sound like. You take a jar (Mason, pasta sauce, whatever) and decorate it to represent YOU! Decorate with motivational quotes, a simple pattern, a hula skirt and a seashell bra, or a mustache. Every time you accomplish something you are proud of in 2015, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.

As a Patient Navigator at Children’s National Medical Center, I see so much that adolescents and young adults should be proud of. For some, swallowing pills is difficult, and conquering that challenge should go in the jar. I wholeheartedly expect to see “Completed my 3rd round of chemo” and “Increased the motion in my knee to 80 degrees” in jars around our unit. Since a lot of my patients are teenagers, I also expect to see “Got second place at my basketball tournament” and “Accepted to my first-choice college.” Every person has different mountains to climb, but every step that means something to you should be recognized. So, go ahead, put it in the jar, and at the end of 2015 you will be able to look back on an amazing year and all of the milestones you surpassed, big or small.

By |January 23rd, 2015|Inspiration, News|0 Comments

Baby, It’s COLD Outside!

Some Helpful Cold Weather Tips for Those Living with Cancer

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Warm winter clothing – CHECK, flu shots – CHECK, hydrated – CHECK, hand sanitizer – CHECK. Erica J. and Nicole M. our Support Through Sport Program Coordinators are ready for winter!

#facingtheissues, Krissy Kraczkowsky, Sr. Program Director, Patient Navigation & Mission Engagement

Just this past Tuesday, the National Weather Services reported that temperatures in all 50 U.S. (including Hawaii!) dipped to or below freezing. Much to the chagrin of many, it’s definitely time to break out the winter coat (and hat…and scarf…and winter boots…and gloves).

For people living with cancer and in active treatment, bundling up and staying healthy when the temperatures drop is a must. According to American Society of Clinical Oncology, living with cancer elevates the risk for temperature-related illnesses (frostbite and hypothermia). In addition, late fall and winter are peak times for some unwelcome viral visitors, mainly the common cold and flu.

It’s definitely time to break out the winter coat (and hat…and scarf…and winter boots…and gloves)

It’s particularly important that as we approach late fall and into the winter, that people living with cancer take appropriate precautions to protect themselves. Below are some helpful cold weather tips for people living with cancer:

  • Stay Toasty, My Friends – When the temps drop, opt to stay inside as much as possible. If you’re getting some serious cabin fever, make sure you bundle up in layers before venturing out into the cold weather. Some cancers or cancer treatment regimens or medications can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Hypothermia can pop up when the body does not generate enough heat to keep itself nice and warm. In addition, it’s important for those living with cancer to keep skin covered (especially those fingers, toes, nose, and ears) when temps go south. Some people living with cancer who experience nerve issues (like peripheral neuropathy) have an even higher risk of frostbite due to greater risk because this side effect causes them to be less sensitive to temperature extremes.

 

  • (Flu) Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots! – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that cancer patients undergoing treatment and cancer survivors receive a flu shot (made up of an inactivated flu virus). Talk to your doctor or nurse about getting a flu shot and the risks/benefits associated with them. People living with cancer are immunosuppressed and per the CDC, should not receive the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine since it’s made up of live flu viruses.

 

  • Bottoms Up – Drinking water when it’s 100 degrees out is a no-brainer. But what many people don’t know is that hydration is still important when the temperatures dip. Drink lots of fluids in the winter. Dehydration is a common side effect of many cancer treatments. Not being adequately hydrated, combined with having low body fat, can elevate the risk of hypothermia in cold temperatures.

 

  • Bring On the Hand Sanitizer – As much as we wish it didn’t, the small-but-mighty common cold and flu virus runs rampant in late fall and winter. Keeping up with good hygiene practices is critical. Hands should be washed or sanitized frequently throughout the day – after going to the bathroom, after high fiving a friend, before you eat, etc.
    • Hand Washing 101: Use soap and warm water and scrub your hands for 15 to 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” or the alphabet song). Rinse them well and dry them with a paper towel.
    • Hand Sanitizer 101: If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers should contain 60% alcohol to squash those germs.

Good hygiene is particularly important for those young moms and dads living with cancer who have school-aged children. Teaching your kids to practice their hand washing skills and proper sneezing tactics (into upper arm vs. hands) and regular cleaning of common spaces (kitchens, bathrooms, door knobs) with appropriate products may help contain germs.

By |November 21st, 2014|Inspiration, News|0 Comments

Be Proactive! Open Enrollment 2015

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by an Ulman Navigator, #facingtheissues

With open enrollment for health insurance just around the corner, it is an important reminder that everyone facing cancer be able to have access to treatment. Historically, research has shown that young adults have the highest rate of uninsured of any age group. With the Affordable Care Act, young adults can remain on their parents’ health insurance through the age of 26. Open enrollment for health insurance begins November 15th and spans through March 31st. For more information about health insurance options for young adults with cancer, check out the following organizations:

Healthcare.gov

CancerCare

Cancer Legal Rights Center

Patient Advocate Foundation

By |November 14th, 2014|In the News, News|0 Comments

Survivor Film Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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It’s finally summer and that means hot afternoons spent in icy cool theaters watching this year’s blockbuster films! Right now the movie everyone is talking about is “The Fault In Our Stars”, based on John Green’s best selling novel of the same name. The movie has been well received, scoring a 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is being hailed as this summer’s best romance. “The Fault In Our Stars” has stirred up more then just a buzz in the young adult cancer community; the plot, and subsequent romance, revolves around two young adult cancer patients.

Without giving too much away, the stories follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, played by Shailene Woodley, is a sixteen-year-old cancer patient. After going to a support group for others her age she meets, and later falls in love with, Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort. The movie deals with the emotional, phycological, and relationship issues that young adults face when impacted by cancer. Eileen, a 16 year Survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, attended the advanced preview of The Fault in Our Stars with UCF and the Cool Kids’s Campaign and shares her thoughts on the film with us.  

 

“About a week prior to being invited to see the preview of The Fault in Our Stars I found a lump on my neck.  Fears I can’t even begin to describe took hold.  I had been through this before.  16 years ago I was Hazel.  16 years ago I was falling in love while being treated for cancer.  Today I have a family, a toddler who needs me.  I suddenly felt irresponsible for even considering the life I have.  So while I waited to find out my fate, which sounded worse with every phone call from a doctor, I grabbed a box of tissues, re-read the book, and planted myself in a seat next to some wonderful friends to watch what I thought was going to tear me to pieces.  I was already barely holding myself together inside.

 

Being a survivor means that you know cancer is not as beautiful as Hollywood makes it out to be.  People probably don’t want to be faced with reality in the movie theater anyway, but right after the movie was over I felt a little jilted.  There was no noise from the oxygen generator.  In fact, I never even saw an oxygen generator, just the portable tanks.  That actress didn’t look swollen from steroids.  None of the awful parts came across except that she couldn’t breathe when using stairs.  I felt like they had missed an opportunity to show some of these things.  I felt like people should know what it is really like, but I think that was just because I was so angry at the prospect of facing it all again.  I’m angry for everyone who has to face it all.

 

As my night wore on I thought about it more though.  Eventually I realized that I was actually feeling pretty good about things.  I was reminded why I made the choices I did since going into remission.  I remembered what it was like to fall in love regardless of what it meant.  I appreciated all the humor the film offered.  I laughed as much as I cried.  The message of this story still comes across perfectly and I loved watching it unfold.  I was swept up by the characters and how perfectly the actors captured them.  There’s always time for love and life isn’t over if you are still living.  I decided it was okay that the ugly parts weren’t highlighted.  My heart still broke at the right time.  My tissues still wound up soaked.  It was still a good story.  I can’t wait to see it again.”

By |June 13th, 2014|News|0 Comments