Courtesy of Western New England Marketing and External Affairs
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 12, 2016) - Every mile matters to Western New England University sophomore Adrian Barber, who will run for 49 days and travel over four thousand miles to help fund the fight against cancer. During the summer of 2016 Barber and a group of other young adults will travel to San Francisco, CA, where their journey will begin, and run for 49 days across the country to New York City - less than three hours from his hometown of Castleton, NY. Barber and his fellow runners hope to spark awareness, and raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF).
Runners will cross the country in a relay format about two miles at a time, with each runner covering a total of 8-16 miles a day. This shouldn't come as too much of a challenge for Barber who is an avid runner, "I have been running since middle school and I am now on the Western New England University cross country team. The most I have run in a day is 14 miles," says Barber. "To prepare I will be following a combination of my coach's workout plan and the plan suggested by the 4K for cancer group. This will mean between 40 and 60 miles a week."
The UCF was founded in 1997; a year after Brown University sophomore Doug Ulman was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a malignant tumor. His family was frustrated with the lack of resources and literature to speak to the unique needs of young adults affected by cancer and in turn founded the UCF. With the strength and support of the UCF, the 2013 4K participants raised nearly $800,000, and in 2014 over 1 million dollars in the fight against cancer.
However this journey hits close to home for the University runner, "I have been connected to the cancer community since the age of 8 when my Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer," says Barber. "Thankfully, my Aunt battled and won her fight against cancer. Since her diagnosis, cancer has had a huge impact on my life "sadly taking the life of my Uncle just a year and a half ago." With such personal ties to the cancer community, Barber believes it's important that everyone remembers what this run is really about, "It's about helping people affected by cancer."
Barber hopes to make a difference in the cancer community, one day using his degree in biomedical engineering to contribute to research that will bring an end to cancer. To donate to Barber's cause, visit his fundraising page to make a contribution; and remember, every donation and every mile matters.