UCF Milestone: A Victory in Annapolis

Dear UCF Supporter,

Parenthood is a lot of things. Being a parent is frustrating and hard and miraculous and exhausting and beautiful and thankless and joyful and overwhelming. It is everything–sometimes all at once. And yet, it is by far the most rewarding, important thing I do. Like many, I could probably write about my experience as a parent until it’s an entire novel. But today is not about me. It’s about all of the to-be parents who will now be able to experience what it means to have a child, even after going through cancer treatment.

 Around 10 years ago, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults first sat down with young adult cancer patients and their families in a hospital room to seek out the ways in which we could make this experience better. What resources were they lacking? What had they wished they had known prior to treatment? This is where I first learned about the dire need for fertility preservation–and the extreme financial burden that comes along with it. At that point, Maryland law did not require insurance companies to cover fertility preservation, which would only add to the high costs that come with a cancer treatment. During treatment, the high levels of radiation can lead to the destruction of fertile egg or sperm cells, severely limiting the chances for patients to have a child of their own. For a young adult who already has to spend their weekends in a hospital bed, instead of out in the world gaining life experience, this seemed like twisting the knife. We had to do something.

<<Read the full Press Release HERE>>

After countless hours of meeting with elected officials, medical experts, and many courageous individuals who fearlessly told their stories, we succeeded in getting our bill passed through state legislation. It mandates that medical insurance companies cover the cost of preserving a patient’s fertility. In other words, just because you had cancer does not mean you can’t also be a parent–a no brainer, in my opinion.

Ultimately, this bill is about choice. Not everyone knows for certain that they want to become a parent, especially if they’re only in their young twenties, for example. But imagine what it might feel like if the option is entirely stripped from you, or if it’s because you can’t afford it? No one should ever have to face this decision, and now–at least in Maryland–they won’t have to.

It seems fitting that only two days after Mother’s Day we are able to come together to officially cement this bill in legislation. There has been so much hard work, bravery, and thought that has gone into crafting this bill, and I am so proud of our team and everyone who has had some contribution into creating this milestone for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults and the young adult cancer movement.

Brock Yetso,
President & CEO

Governor Hogan Signs Legislation Making Fertility Preservation Affordable for Young Adult Cancer Patients

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults spearheads passing of bill that will preserve the possibility of family for thousands of Marylanders

BALTIMORE – May 15, 2018 – The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) is pleased to announce that Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation this morning requiring insurance coverage of fertility preservation services for cancer patients who face infertility from their treatments. Maryland is the third state in the country to provide this important benefit.


This law will require certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and HMOs to cover standard services like sperm banking and egg banking for at-risk young cancer patients.



“For many young cancer patients, loss of fertility is an unfortunate side effect of treatment. But the fact is, we have the medical means to preserve the possibility ofparenthood for these patients,” said Brock Yetso, president and CEO of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. “Parenthood is a fundamental life function that shouldn’t be eliminated due to disease or financial barriers. We’re proud to say that, in Maryland, fertility preservation is now an affordable reality for the majority of cancer patients.”


The financial cost associated with emergency fertility preservation is often too great for patients to manage, especially on top of other medical and treatment expenses. The cost is particularly high for young women, often exceeding $11,000 for egg retrieval and freezing.


According to a Maryland Health Care Commission Report, the costs for this benefit would be minimal – between $0.14-$0.24 per member per month – in added insurance costs.


“We strongly believe that having cancer should not preclude having children,” said Joyce Reinecke, Executive Director of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation. “Young cancer patients have already suffered enough, and they deserve the chance at a full and complete future after cancer. This coverage protects that chance.”



UCF advocated for this bill alongside the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Shady Grove Fertility Clinic and countless patients and survivor advocates who testified at committee hearings supporting the bill. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2019.


About the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is the oldest and largest non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization in the United States solely focused on the unique needs of young adult cancer patients. Founded in 1997, the Ulman Cancer Fund mission is to change lives by creating a community of support for young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer. The organization works at both the local and national level to ensure all young adults (age 15-39) impacted by cancer have a voice and the necessary resources to thrive. For more information about Ulman Cancer Fund, visit: ulmanfund.org.



Media Contact:

Molly Dressel

Abel Communications for Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults


443-986-1173 (cell)

443-961-4410 (office)



Your Voice Matters – A word from Brock, President & CEO


Giving remarks at 2001 Columbia’s Cure

The month of April marks the beginning of spring.  For so many of us, this time of the year represents transformation.  As we transition from winter’s cold and darkness to summer’s warmth and light, spring gives us a chance to reflect, renew, and celebrate.  For these reasons and many more – the beginning of baseball, hockey playoffs, spring break, family BBQ’s, late nights playing ball in the yard with my kids – April also represents an important milestone in my life and the life of the Ulman Cancer Fund.  

Seventeen years ago this month, I was fortunate to be hired as the first full-time Executive Director of this incredible organization.  At the time, we had very little to show in regards to programs and impact, but we were a community strong and united, ready to drive change.  They still tell me to this day there were other candidates vying for the job and I was selected from the crowd, but I’m fairly certain I was the only one who applied.  At any rate, I landed the job and got to work.

I was young, naïve, and clueless but I had one of the most powerful assets you can have when you start something new – a burning desire to succeed; a story to tell; and a commitment to helping others who have experienced the pain I endured – losing a mom to cancer.  This April is particularly unique because it also marks the 20th year anniversary for the Ulman Cancer Fund.  As I reflect on the transformation and development of both Ulman and myself, I’m reminded and humbled by the incredible people I’ve met along the way who have helped us get to this point together.

Testifying in Annapolis in February 2018 with cancer survivors sharing their voice

We’ve accomplished so many great things over the past two decades – way too long of a list to include in this blog.  One special milestone that has been unfolding over the past couple of months is the result of many year’s worth of hard work and countless, brave cancer survivors sharing their stories.  

On May 8th, our team will travel to Annapolis, MD to join Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for a ceremony where he will sign a piece of legislation into law that will preserve parenthood for thousands of cancer patients indefinitely.

When the law becomes effective on January 1, it will mandate insurance companies to pay for a patient ’s fertility preservation prior to them starting their cancer treatment, which can render them infertile. This will make Maryland the 3rd State in the country to offer this important benefit, providing momentum for others states to follow suit.

After two year’s worth of meetings and hearings with legislators educating them on the importance of this bill, I am reminded of a powerful lesson I’ve learned during my time at Ulman – Your Voice Matters! Meeting after meeting, hearing after hearing, I watched as brave young men and women opened their hearts to share stories of pain, anger, perseverance, and conviction.  The tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces took me back to a place I haven’t been in many years. It took me back to the day I was alone in an office as the first and only employee at Ulman. Although I was fueled by a different experience then, I recognize so many of the same emotions that motivate these survivors now. After my mom passed away, I found my voice immediately, and I feel lucky I was able to harness it through my life’s work at Ulman.  

And so as I celebrate my 17th year at Ulman and our 20th year as an organization this April, I’m continually reminded of the power of having a voice.

Sometimes you need to advocate for those unable, or not comfortable sharing, and many times you need to do it for yourself.  

We still have so much work to do, but I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made thanks to thousands of young adults and families who have chosen to share their stories as vehicles for hope, inspiration, and change.


Giving remarks at 2018 Blue Jeans & Bowties Ball

Giving remarks at 2018 Fight Night Baltimore

Cancer changes lives… SO DO WE!




Brock Yetso
President & CEO
The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults


Fight to Understand Post-Traumatic Growth

Post-traumatic growth experienced by young adult cancer patients is a topic worth talking about.

The literature in the link below reveals there are some aspects of a cancer patient’s life that may be enhanced by their cancer experience. Young adult cancer survivors often report stronger interpersonal relationships with family and friends with whom they closely shared their cancer experience. Additionally, the young adult cancer survivors report feeling more compassion for others who have suffered similar or other types of physical or emotional pain.

Read more here- http://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/index.php/resources/articles-from-the-director/finding-benefit-post-traumatic-growth-and-cancer/

By Sharon Curran, Young Adult Patient Navigator, GBMC


Knockout the Feeling of Social Isolation

When adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are admitted to the hospital for extended periods of time, they often feel isolated and disconnected from their peers. While inpatient for treatment, AYAs can miss out on events like prom, graduation, weddings, and other group gatherings that are considered major life milestones. Social media has made it possible to see, and even participate in, what friends and family are doing outside of the hospital. Occasionally, that can make the feeling of isolation greater. Social isolation includes more than missing out on activities. Teens and young adults can also feel socially isolated by the lack of independence that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis. While their peers are leaving the nest and starting careers, AYAs may need to move back home for more support and care. In addition, teens and young adults don’t always know what to say to their friends battling an illness. Sometimes, they say nothing and friendships can suffer. Body image challenges, such as ports or bald heads, can make people anxious about going out in public and attending social events.

The important thing to remember during the whirlwind of cancer treatment is that no two stories are exactly the same, and your cancer experience is just another piece of the puzzle that makes you unique. Adolescents and young adults, with a cancer diagnosis or without, are in a phase of transition and are usually unsure about the next steps in life. Unquestionably, a cancer diagnosis makes this phase of life more difficult. BUT REMEMBER: in the end, everyone this age is faking it and no one knows what they are doing.

Cards for when you don’t know what to say to your friend with cancer:

Where to purchase trendy beanies: http://www.loveyourmelon.com/

“Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment”: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK179872/

Life With Cancer Young Adult Support: https://www.lifewithcancer.org/young_adults.php

Stupid Cancer (online community of support): http://stupidcancer.org/

By Allie Isaacson, Young Adult Patient Navigator, Children’s National Medical Center

#MissionMonday – Navigation Support


“Elizabeth spoke for us when we were unable to speak ourselves because of the emotional pain we were experiencing.”

Our patient navigators stand at the front line in the fight against young adult cancer. From the moment of diagnosis to the weeks, months and years of following treatment, our navigators remain at the side of patients during their bumpy cancer journeys. Below is an anonymous letter we received praising the work of our Young Adult Patient Navigator at University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Elizabeth Saylor. 

“My wife was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in August 2012. That was the day we met Elizabeth and she has been with us ever since in every step of the way. Words can’t describe our gratitude towards her and the Ulman Fund.

The initial shock of having two newlyweds facing the possibility of not only not being able to have a child, but also their own mortality at the age of 33 was and still is unbearable.

From the start Elizabeth kept telling us the stories of young adults who are going through the same and we didn’t feel alone anymore. She introduced us to the Ulman Fund, and a variety of other sources for help and support.

Thanks to her we were able to preserve my wife’s fertility after her insurance refused to pay for it. Elizabeth spoke for us when we were unable to speak ourselves because of the emotional pain we were experiencing. Also, later on in the preservation process we found out that the medications that my wife needed to be able to undergo the procedures were not covered by the insurance. Elizabeth helped guide us through payment assistance for these medications so we could move forward.

Moreover, Elizabeth comes to check on us once or twice a week when we are in the hospital. She is always concerned and ready to help – and trust me, we need help all the time! For almost two years we have been in and out of the hospital every week. She is always there to check on us.

Thanks to Elizabeth, my wife still has the strength to fight this ugly disease, and I have a person to share with and rely on every step of the way.”

Each year the UCF Navigators see 1600 newly diagnosed cancer patients. By connecting these patients to various resources, and to each other, our Navigators are lead creators of the young adult community of support. Cancer Changes Lives…So Do We.

Skin Cancer Awareness Month “Melanoma Monday”

“From an awareness standpoint…I feel many people are not adequately informed and don’t take skin cancer seriously.”

-Steve Leckrone, Melanoma Survivor

Break out your wide brimmed hats and sunscreen folks, because May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! As the rate of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients finally starts to level off, skin cancer cases continue to rise yearly. “An estimated one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, and one person dies from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every hour.” (ABC news) Of the three types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma – melanoma is by far the most deadly. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation there will be an estimated 120,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in 2014, and 8,000 of these cases will be fatal.  However, melanoma is not only preventable, but it also  has a very high survival rate when caught early. 

We reached out to Baltimore BOYAA member, and Melanoma survivor, Steve Leckrone (SL) and asked him to share some of his story and help spread awareness this month.

Right Arm Mole

SL “I had a mole on my right forearm, which took a turn for the worse into melanoma.  Over the summer of 2012, my wife and mom started noticing the mole changing and continued to ride me until I eventually went to the dermatologist in April 2013.  Prior to being diagnosed, I had very little knowledge about skin cancer, specifically melanoma. I was ignorant in thinking that it would be just a simple fix by cutting it off and stitching it up.”

No skin cancer treatment is as simple as “slice and remove”. Like other cancer treatments, the procedures are long, exhausting, and put your whole life on hold.

Photo of Leckrone’s right arm before treatment.

SL “When the results of my initial biopsy came back and the melanoma diagnosis was confirmed, I tried my hardest to block it out and not accept or think about the changes that lay ahead.  With many things circling around in my head and the information overload I was experiencing from the doctors and the internet, the reality of the situation was very overwhelming.  Initially, I knew my life as I knew it was going to change, but I had no clue how much.  It all set in quickly the day of my surgery sitting in the recovery room when the doctor said, ‘You cannot use your right hand for anything and no driving for 6 weeks’.” 

When asked what difficulties skin cancer survivors face when undergoing treatment, Leckrone first responded that…

Shark bite

SL “Initially the biggest difficulty I faced was being able to retain all the information being thrown my way. Information overload is an understatement.  I learned to limit the amount of research I did on the internet by limiting myself to only specific websites to research treatments and what lay ahead.”

but followed with…

SL ” I would say the most difficult aspect of being a melanoma Survivor is living with the fear of reoccurrence.”

Skin cancers are quickly becoming the most diagnosed cancer type in America, as “more than one out of every three new cancers are (diagnosed) skin cancers…” (Skin Cancer Foundation).  However as stated above, survival rates are very high if caught early. A good rule of thumb for self detection are the “ABCDE”s of Melanoma.

Photo of Leckrone’s right arm during treatment.

A – Asymmetry. If you draw a line through the middle of the mole, the halves of a melanoma won’t match in size.

B – Border. The edges of an early melanoma tend to be uneven, crusty or notched.

C – Color. Healthy moles are uniform in color. A variety of colors, especially white and/or blue, is bad.

D – Diameter. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than a pencil eraser, although they can be smaller.

E – Evolving. When a mole changes in size, shape or color, or begins to bleed or scab, this points to danger.



bio pic

SL “From an awareness standpoint, like myself prior to my April 2013, I feel many people are not adequately informed and don’t take skin cancer seriously.  I heard a great comment recently which sums this simple and scary fact up nicely: In short: Every high school student graduates high school knowing the causes and effects of HIV/AIDS, yet someone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS can live on for 30+ years.  Can we say the same for melanoma, which can take someone’s life in weeks?” 

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults prides ourselves in the network of support we’ve created over the past 16 years. We help young adults impacted by all cancers, not just melanoma, find the information and assistance they need to complete their cancer journeys. Leckrone connected with UCF for that very reason. Now a member of the Baltimore BOYAA, he plans to give aid to those who, like him, need an advocate to point them in the right direction.

SL “As noted above, the internet can be an overwhelming and frankly a horrible place to research any form of cancer.  I found the UCF website early in the process and it quickly became a go to resource for my wife and myself throughout my treatment.  After watching the 3 minute video on the homepage I knew UCF was going to be a great resource.  Additionally, Doug Ulman was not only a Baltimore guy like myself, he was also a 3 time Melanoma survivor. Connection was made.  Now as a BOYAA member, I am looking forward to doing so many things with UCF, from continuing to utilize the amazing resources available to young adult cancer survivors, to helping other young adults throughout their battles, and most importantly spreading awareness throughout our local communities and beyond. “

So take a moment this Melanoma Monday to familiarize yourself with skin cancer and how you can prevent it. And if you think you may have a suspicious mole on your body, don’t hesitate to contact your dermatologist. Cancer changes lives…SO DO WE!







Colorectal Cancer Month: Make your Mom Proud!


Brock Yetso, CEO of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, shares his story, promoting colorectal cancer awareness.  

Winning is NOT always everything and “how you play the game” is sometimes more important.

Growing up playing sports, from little league to college soccer, I always thought winning was everything. Yeah, yeah, some coaches and your parents might say winning isn’t everything and “how you play the game” is equally important, but I never really bought it. Now, as a parent of two young boys, I can definitely appreciate the “give your best effort” mentality, but indulge me a bit to see where I’m coming from.

Growing up, I was a competitive soccer player, and goalkeeper at that. At the end of a 90 minute game if I gave up more goals than the opposing team, we lost! Simple as that. As I moved along in life, I applied this “winning” versus “losing” philosophy to much of what I did and saw pretty decent success – on the soccer field, in the classroom, and in the business world. Little did I know, and would later learn, winning is NOT always everything and “how you play the game” is sometimes more important. The way you play the game is what makes the people around you better and stronger and leads to longer lasting success.

So where am I going with this and how does this relate to March and the Ulman Cancer Fund? In March of 2000, my family and I faced the hardest opponent any of us had ever seen. This opponent wasn’t an opposing striker, a difficult test or a high stakes meeting – this opponent was CANCER. Cancer turned my life upside down and humbled me. On the surface you’d probably say it won – but over the years I’ve learned it was far from winning and I’m still in the game FIGHTING right back!

On February 17, 2000 my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Colorectal Cancer. She was fifty-seven years old, had been a nurse for over twenty years and experienced no symptoms. She was a loving wife, mother of 5 kids and living her life in a way people could only aspire to imitate. Her youngest son was about to be the last of five to graduate from high school and her oldest daughter was a few months from getting married. She had so much to live for and the world had so many reasons for her to live. She was a PTA President, Soccer mom, community leader, health care professional and more – she lived a life of service and compassion for others.

Cancer turned my life upside down and humbled me.

My mom’s cancer journey was a short one – from her diagnosis in the local ER she received immediate surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Unresponsive to any treatments, we to took her home from the hospital four weeks after her diagnosis on March 16, 2000 where she died peacefully in her home with her family by her side on March 17, 2000.

Today, as I sit back and reflect on my mom’s life, her cancer fight, its impact on me and how I live my life, I go back to my initial thoughts I shared with you about winning and losing. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Every March I’m reminded of the pain this disease has caused thousands of families and myself. It has been 14 years this month that I sadly commemorate my mom’s passing to cancer but I’m also proudly celebrating over a decade of fighting the disease that took her life. In my eyes, cancer may have scored the first goal but we’re now in the second half and I’m fighting right back, and winning!

She is most likely sitting back smiling now because cancer picked the wrong fight.

Whether it is a soccer game, or the fight against cancer, I’ve come to appreciate that over the years that winning is NOT always everything. My mom taught me that better than anyone. She played the game of life in the most admirable way possible. She played by the rules, lived life to its fullest, work hard and loved those around her. For the 57 years she was here she left no regrets. She raised a family and instilled values in those she touched that will live indefinitely. Her battle with cancer was no different – she tackled it head on with respect, grace, and determination. She never let it invade her soul. Cancer is a ruthless, uninvited, deceitful, rude, and cheating opponent but it is an opponent that can be beat over time. It doesn’t follow any rules and it will continue to invade all of our lives. It doesn’t care who you are, who you love, or what you have to live for – it cheats and steals until it feels it has been victorious.

What Cancer doesn’t know is for every person it goes up against, there is a team full of family and friends supporting that person and they are ready and able to FIGHT back. Although she is no longer physically with us, my mom is very much still in the fight. She left behind a legacy of family and friends that will fight on. She is most likely sitting back smiling now because cancer picked the wrong fight.

So what does this all mean for you and me? The next time you embark on your next journey, competition, or challenge – just give this some thought. What does “winning” mean to you? Is it the place you cross the finish line, the score of the game, your rank amongst the group? Don’t get me wrong, how you perform has its place in this world, and I’m the first person trying to win, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of evaluating yourself and others on how we “played the game”. We’re not going to win or be successful in everything we do. Persistence and perspective are so critically important. Win, lose or draw – we need to be able to be proud of the performance we gave and be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move on to the next challenge.

The next time you “step up to the starting line” or walk into the boardroom, ask yourself: Did I give 100%? Was my effort part of a larger and longer lasting effort that will have greater change? Did my individual efforts help impact others? Am I proud of how I conducting myself?

Winning might be a great feeling for you temporarily – but is it also changing the world around you? As the cliché saying goes – “Make your mom proud”. It’s all in how you FIGHT that really counts!

– Brock Yetso, CEO

Cancer To 5K: Chicago Kickoff!

ct5k_2014_chicago_1This past weekend (March 8-9, 2014), Cancer To 5k held its first ever training session in Chicago! Braving blizzard-like conditions, participating survivors and coaches met up with Program Manager of Mission Engagement, Laura Scruggs, and received new running shoes, welcome bags, and a thorough introduction to running gear from the amazing staff of Running Away Multisport.

“I could not be more thrilled to have been there for the kickoff of Cancer to 5K-Chicago. I loved spending time with the outstanding coaching team, our amazing sherpas, and of course, our fantastic survivor runners. This is definitely the beginning of something great for Chicago area young adults impacted by cancer!”
-Laura Scruggs

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is very excited to launch a program in the Windy City. “Chicago is an amazing running town. During the Spring/Summer/Fall, you constantly see people outside running, walking, biking, anxious to soak up the good weather” says volunteer coach, Hillary Gelfman (HG). Within the Chicago city limits there are six cancer centers, making it the city with the largest concentration of cancer centers in the state of Illinois.

New survivor participants have high hopes for the program and have given us great feedback so far! “I joined the Cancer to 5K training program because it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get moving and build some physical strength by having the 5K goal to work toward and while getting the support of trainers/coaches and other survivors.” said Suzanne Dunton (SD), a participating cancer survivor.


We’ve interviewed some of the Chicago team’s survivors and coaches, and this is what they’ve had to say:

What do you hope to accomplish by participating in Cancer to 5K?

SD: My hope is that my participation in the Cancer to 5K is the catalyst to get me moving and not only get me back to my pre-treatment strength level, but also be the foundation for me to continue on a journey toward a leaner, stronger, healthier me.

Kim Lozano (KL), participating cancer survivor: I am hoping it motivates me overall to get into better shape and to meet other survivors and hear their stories.

Each survivor participant received a new pair of running shoes from Running Away Multisport

SD: Having comfortable shoes will make a critical difference in my being able to do this.  I am also so appreciative of the wonderful team at RAM for their time and expertise to get the right fit me.  As a fish out of water in a running store, they were so kind to make me feel at home and make sure I have what I need. Great people!!

CT5K is not only an opportunity for survivors to heal, but also their loved ones. Coaches volunteer their time and expertise to facilitate the group workouts and personalized online training.

HG: I have gotten very familiar with the Ulman Cancer Fund over the past year, as they have been great in helping out my sister, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in February of 2013.  As an avid runner, CT5K seemed like the perfect fit for me–combining something I love to do with benefiting an amazing organization and getting cancer survivors’ physical fitness back on track.

What would you say to cancer survivors that may be hesitant about signing up for Cancer to 5K?

SD: If you are interested but hesitant, perhaps on the fence wondering “should I?” To you, I say, “Go For It and Jump Right In!”  The coaches and volunteers are an amazing group of people. They will make you feel right at home and provide you with the guidance you need.

HG: I would say that the program is an amazing opportunity to set a goal and achieve it, but at your own pace. The program is really designed to provide individualized support to each athlete, so that everyone is supported as they reach their goal and regain (or develop or even surpass) their level of fitness prior to their cancer diagnosis.  And you will also develop some great friendships along with way with your fellow survivors, coaches and Sherpas.

KL: I would say – “Take a Chance.”  It will be worth your while, you will meet others in similar situations, and do something good for yourself.


 What are your goals for CT5K in 2014?

HG: I am excited to see the inaugural Chicago program get off the ground and look forward to all of our survivor athletes challenging themselves and achieving things they may never have thought possible.

Keep checking back for more updates on Cancer To 5K: Chicago as the season continues. Registration for survivors and volunteers is still open – in Chicago, NYC, all four of our local teams, and online. Check out www.cancerto5k.org or contact Laura at laura@ulmanfund.org for more information.


Cancer Changes Lives…So Do We!

How We Change Lives: Charlotte Bohn


Laura Scruggs, UCF Program Manager-Mission Engagement congratulates Charlotte Bohn on her Young Adult Fight Award at the 2014 Blue Jeans Ball.

Charlotte Bohn is a Cancer to 5k alumni, a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, and a 2014 Blue Jeans Ball “Fight Award” honoree. As anyone would expect, cancer shook Charlotte’s world but, unexpectedly, her experience wasn’t entirely negative. Charlotte’s cancer diagnosis had some positive effects on her life, one being her experience in the Cancer to 5k program here in Baltimore, MD.

“I was talking to a close friend of mine the other day about how I couldn’t believe we had only known one another for less than a year. I met this friend during the Cancer to 5K program that I joined in March of 2013. When she and I met something clicked and since then our friendship has grown tremendously. I realized that  I gained so much more than I ever could have imagined from being a part of Cancer to 5K – friendships, confidence, strength, determination. The list could go on and on. I told this friend of mine just recently that I would never have started running if it hadn’t been for cancer. I wouldn’t  have been looking for a support system. I wouldn’t have found Ulman. But I did. And once I had made that initial call to UCF, looking for some way to deal with and handle my cancer diagnosis, everything changed. Running became my way of coping and my way of taking control of my body and my fight back to a healthy state of being. Even after my recurrence in the summer of 2013 I continued to run and lean on the friends I had made during my Cancer to 5K season.”

Charlotte is currently undergoing treatment, and with the support of her wonderful family, continues to stay active and stay positive. Watch the video below to hear more of Charlotte’s inspirational story in our 2014 Blue Jeans Ball honoree video.

Cancer changes lives…so do WE!