"This picture was taken right after Kyle finished a full marathon in Nashville, TN, just a few weeks ago. He is triumphant, grateful and probably super exhausted... but there is so much more behind his smile.
Kyle is a young adult cancer survivor. He finished treatment almost exactly four years ago and decided to celebrate his upcoming “cancer-versary” by training for and running in his first marathon. If that wasn’t meaningful enough, he used it as an opportunity to raise funds for other young adult cancer survivors who are struggling the way he was. In his words, "Cancer is a devastating disease to everyone it touches, but it is particularly difficult on young adults. Transitioning into your 20s and 30s is difficult; the job market is tough, real estate is expensive and the cost of tuition is at an all time high. Now imagine that you have just finished cancer treatment. You have lost valuable time and limited savings. You feel like you are years behind everyone else in your age group. To top it off, you are suddenly faced with unexpected expenses from residual and new medical bills from follow-up tests and check-ups. When all of these issues collide, how do you find a job, pay for rent and afford school? While there is no magic bullet to solve the financial challenges of young adult cancer survivors, The SAMFund is the only organization in the country dedicated to helping young adults recover from the financial blow of cancer. The SAMFund’s hallmark program provides direct financial assistance to young adult survivors that help pay medical bills, subsidize rent and support family planning activities among other needs."
In running this marathon and through his fundraising efforts, Kyle launched "Team SAMFund," which will hopefully become a key fundraising and awareness-raising program for The SAMFund. We had ordered shirts for him through another company, and the long story short is that a few days before Kyle was set to leave Boston for Nashville, the shirts still hadn’t arrived and no one would return our calls. In a panic, we called CustomInk to see if “super rush shipping” really meant *super rush* shipping, and not only was the representative helpful and friendly, she had the shirts in Kyle’s hands two days later.
Needless to say, the shirts looked fantastic and everyone who saw Kyle run knew that he was a proud member of “Team SAMFund.” Thank you, CustomInk, for saving the day and for giving “Team SAMFund” its proper launch. So many young adult survivors will benefit from his efforts and, even more importantly, can draw inspiration from his story. #cancerisn’tfree… but The SAMFund is here to help!
- Team SAMFund's first runner - Alumni Leader Kyle (May 07, 2014)