UCF House – It’s all in the Details


It’s been an exciting time here at the Ulman Cancer Fund since construction began on the UCF House! In September, we began the process of deconstruction on the existing row homes in our six-unit stretch of E Madison Street in East Baltimore. For the deconstruction, we worked with Baltimore based company, Details whose workforce is made up of local people facing barriers to employment. One man we worked with grew up just blocks from the UCF House! Besides the social impact of Details work, their environmental impact is important too. They were able to recover brick and wood from the deconstruction process that will go back into our rebuild of the property and into future construction projects around Baltimore.

This deconstruction of the property and recycling of materials helps us towards our goal of becoming LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

LEED is a green building rating system which provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, sustainable buildings. We believe this is important not only for the health of our patients and caregivers but for the health of the environment as well.

One of the most exciting parts of this deconstruction process was that we were able to save the more than one-hundred-year-old facade. Keeping the original brick front was important to us to be able to continue the timeline of the story of Baltimore. The red brick row home is an important architectural staple in Baltimore and we’re happy to showcase it on E Madison Street. The bracing of the facade has allowed the dig out of the lower level to begin. Stay tuned for more updates as construction revs up!

     The back of the property before deconstruction

Details worker who grew up blocks from the House

Back of property during reconstruction
 The facade braced for construction to begin

Lower level dig out

Betsy’s Story – BE Human

For twenty years, volunteers have been critical to UCF’s ability to carry out our mission. Our committed volunteers do yardwork or prepare meals for patients we serve, run alongside cancer survivors completing their first 5K race, plan fundraising events – really, they do whatever it takes to ensure that we continue to move closer and closer to a world where no young adult faces cancer alone!

Betsy Serp has become a one-of-a-kind volunteer whose friends invited her to serve alongside them at the UCF Races several years ago. After seeing cancer survivors cross the finish line and achieve feats they didn’t think possible, Betsy was hooked! She now sacrifices her retirement leisure time and shares her top-notch project management skills to help us as a volunteer Program Coordinator for the UCF House.

Betsy is no stranger to the housing industry; she worked in the mortgage business for many years, and collaborates with her husband, Ed, on his weekend home improvement business.  So when Betsy told us that she had decided to take early retirement and would have some free time, we quickly asked her to contribute some of that time toward the UCF House!

In her volunteer role, Betsy spends the equivalent of 1-2 days per week making sure planning and construction progress smoothly. She manages communication between our general contractor, our interior designer (UCF Founder Diana Ulman), individuals and companies who have donated items for the house, and UCF full-time staff. Betsy’s work will ensure that we meet requirements set by the Maryland Historic Trust and that the project qualifies for LEED certification.

Betsy gives so generously of her time because she is inspired by the vision of young adults having a place to live alongside new friends who are going through something similar. She is confident that the UCF House will not only be a physical structure, but that it will be the framework around a strong support system for everybody who walks through its doors – patients, family, friends, and community members.

Betsy – from all of us at UCF, thank you for all you do!