For those of you who know me there are likely two things you won't find surprising. First, a marathon has always been on my bucket list. An on-again-off-again relationship with distance running has long be my M.O. Since moving to Colorado in the summer of 2017, I've been 'on-again' and happier than ever about it. But I didn't quite have the gumption to sign up for a marathon- I mean who really wants to run 26 miles?
Which leads me to the second thing you probably know about me- I care about helping others and who needs more help than people diagnosed with cancer? Cancer has affected all of us in some way. Nearly 1 out of 3 people in the United States will have cancer during their lifetimes. Cancer can happen at any age. We all know someone who has passed away from cancer and it seems that in 2019 shouldn't we have found a cure for it by now?
I have had two siblings that have passed away, not to cancer but from tragic accidents. This cause is so important to me because I don't want anyones family to go through what mine did losing Matt and Courtney. Our donations and efforts can make a difference and end these families suffering.
Which has lead to me running, but with a reason. I will be running the 2019 Big Sur Marathon for the Allyson Whitney Foundation-- a non-profit organization that empowers and fights for the interests of young adults with rare cancers. The vision of the foundation is to improve the quality of life, as well as provide emotional support for patients. The Allyson Whitney Foundation supports several organizations who generally focus on researching rare cancers and/or offering care and support to those fighting cancer, such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Every mile finish I will do with the inspiration of those fighting cancer. I will train my body to honor those fighting for theirs. But I need your help!
What is considered a rare cancer? According to the National Institutes of Health, a rare cancer is one typically with a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 affected individuals in the United States. However, hundreds of different cancers are classified as "rare", and approximately 50% of people with cancer are battling a rare cancer.
Rare cancers include commonly-known forms of the disease, including: brain, pancreatic, cervical, stomach, thyroid and ovarian cancers, sarcomas, and all types of pediatric cancers, among many others. These cancers don't often attract research dollars needed for new therapies and treatments, leaving patients with limited options.
●About 70,000 young people (ages 15-39) are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States
● Evidence suggests Young Adults get entirely different cancer than other age groups with unique genetic and biological features
● There is no Young Adult Clinical Research
● Cancer is the Number One disease killer in Young Adults
● Young Adults are the most underserved population
● Most Young Adults need financial assistance the most because many do not have health insurance
● YA’s have delayed cancer diagnosis & survival rate has not improved in over 20 years
● Cancer incidence has increased in Young Adults more than any other age groups+
● Survival rates are disproportionately higher in YA
● Clinical participation in YA is lower than other age’s groups
● Research suggest that YAs are 5 times more likely to develop PTSD than their healthy peers
● In the U.S., 35% of all cancers occur in young adults (Age 15-29)
● A handful of hospital facilities accommodate Young Adults with cancer
● Funding traditional cancer research will most likely NOT help an Adolescent, Young Adult cancer patient…
BOTTOM LINE, THE ALLYSON WHITNEY TEAM wants to help fill a much needed void to get real help to real individuals.
Your donations help! The Allyson Whitney Foundation is an all volunteer organization and uses 100% of donations toward their main pursuits.
For more information on the Allyson Whitney Foundation, or adult rare cancer visit: https://www.allysonwhitney.org/
Please consider making a tax deductible donation help find a cure to rare cancer
Thank you for helping me achieve my goal!