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A running fight against cancer

UMBC student plans to run across the country this summer

Participating in the 4k For Cancer under the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, Corryn Wheatley is dedicating her summer to fighting back.

For Corryn Wheatley, a senior biochemistry and psychology double major, running has recently become more than just a part of her weekly exercise routine. A 4000-plus mile run is in her near future for a cause that not only hits close to home for her, but also for many people.

“I was 13 years old when my dad was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Wheatley. Since then, he has gone through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants and the maximum amount of radiation he can receive. Wheatley is now happy to report that he seems to be doing a lot better these days.

With the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, she proudly supports the fight against cancer. “I did Relay for Life last year, but this is definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. She now spends four to five days a week training by running, swimming and exercising.

“[The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults] provides resources for survivors and people currently going through cancer,” said Wheatley. During her trip with about 29 others, they plan to make stops at cancer centers and provide chemo care packages to cancer patients to help guide them through the process.

Gathering in San Francisco on June 14, they plan to hit the road and reach their Baltimore destination on Aug. 1. Wheatley will take part in one out of six separate trips in which a total of 180 college students will be participating. Working together, her group will strive to run about 10 to 16 miles per day.

After submitting an application and attending an interview for the trip, Wheatley was thrilled to hear that she was selected. “I’m so excited! My parents didn’t believe me at first when I told them, but once they saw me training and preparing, they were onboard. Everyone has been super supportive,” she said. With friends and family by her side, she now feels all the more ready to embark on this journey.

Before she hits the ground running, she has accepted the challenge to raise $5,000. Some of this money will help support the trip, and the majority of which will go towards the Ulman Cancer Fund’s programs. While she’s raised $2,000 so far, she’s hoping to gather the remainder from the generosity of additional donors. Her personal donation page is where every cent counts.

“In the future, I hope to use my biochemistry degree to do research in the cancer field or something related,” said Wheatley. She is always willing to share her story and spread awareness, not just to fundraise, but to help those affected by cancer, even if that means traveling across the country on foot.