“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” That’s what the president of the NAACP said in his speech at the protest in West Chester on Thursday evening. That is what WE need to do.
I don’t like to put my opinions of politics out there because people are more than their views and everyone deserves to be heard, but this is more than that… this is human lives. On Thursday I went wayyy out of my comfort zone to do something that I hope will make a change. I went with a friend and chanted along side maybe a thousand people that Black Lives Matter. “I understand that I will never understand, but I STAND” was my sign. The way that Black lives are treated is something I will truly never understand with this privilege I have been given. I got lucky… that’s really all it is because other than the fact that I am White there is no difference, yet a cop will not even give me a second glace if I was doing something “suspicious.” I have been given a privilege.
With this, I should and will do something and YOU should too. Everyone needs to come together because some people don’t see Black lives as equal lives. If that is you, think about that statement. Why? Is it because that’s just how you grew up? Is it because that’s society? Whatever it is… it needs to change. If you still don't understand this concept, read about it. Now I’m not saying if you read about it you support it, but you should read about it and see what these stories are. You can’t argue something without knowing the other side. Could you imagine getting pulled over and then having to get out of the car at gun point just because your car looked like it was stolen… no? that’s privilege. You’re lucky, but now you can do something! We all can.
It’s actually not too hard to do something. Yes, it can be out of your comfort zone, but there are ways to do it from the safety of your own home if you need too. Just imagine being you and someone looks at you as if you are not someone… that is why you need to do something.
Lives need to be recognized, fear needs to fade, police need to take better action, and people need to do something. YOU need to do something. Hopefully you’re sitting there thinking what can I do? Or if you still don’t understand, I have some sources for you below! If you still think All Lives Matter should be what we say, check out the comic below. The first thing is to educate yourself… watch movies, read articles, listen to podcasts, read posts on social media, and through other ways too. It is heartbreaking to hear these stories, it is even more heartbreaking that some of these things that have happened I didn’t even notice until I have heard these stories. Some right from my own school. I had to learn, even though I "knew” I had to learn more and I still need to continue to learn.
You can also take action by signing petitions, donating to organizations, talking with your family, going to a protest (make sure to be safe and prepared though), have a YouTube video play in the background and get money from ad revenue donated, and so much more. Check out more things you can do with the buttons below and share in the comments some other ideas that we can do. We ALL need to come together, everyone, that means YOU and do something.
Hello everyone!! I have an update on my run for this summer! I am super excited to get started! :) They made it so, although it won’t be the same experience, it will still be one to remember! We will still start the same day (June 21st) at 12pm and end on August 8th! I have started looking for some new trails near home and some a little further to see some new sites! Hence the title - I want to go all over the county (and beyond!) If you have any suggestions please let me know!!
We will also still be “with” our team through group chats and weekly virtual team activities! We will still be running the same mileage as if we were running across the country together too! I will be able to update you on what state we would have been in during that time!
My mileage will be anywhere from 4 to 16 miles this summer with a marathon on the last day and a few rest days! I hope to vlog some of my experience and update you every day through vlogs! (Yes, I meant Vlog… that is a video blog for those who don’t know! It will be a little more exciting than just reading some words on a screen! 😊) They will be posted on here and on Facebook as well!! I hope you’ll be able to see them and support!
Throughout the run, we will also still have mission speakers and dedications. With that being said, if you haven’t given me someone to dedicate a run to, please do!! I would love to hear your story and dedicate a day by writing their/your name on my leg. No need to feel pressured to donate to share, just send me a message! Next summer, if I am able to actually run across the country I will carry that dedication over to the following year and give them two years of dedication!
I am SO excited for June 21st and I hope you are too!! Please let me know if you have any questions and send me any dedications! As the time gets closer, I will post more information and keep you updated!
Thank you everyone for being so supportive and for all the wonderful messages I received when we got the news that the run is virtual!
Ready for a challenge and a chance to win?!? For the next three weeks I have a challenge that is perfect for you! Entry is FREE to thank you for continuing to support me through my run across the country! The challenge requires you to get outside (or inside if you prefer) and get some exercise! Anyone can do it and have a chance to win!
The prizes (over 20 prizes!) are from donations during the past year. I was going to have an event to raffle them off but here we are - a virtual raffle instead. The prizes include:
The rules are super easy:
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
NOTE: If you share on your story, make sure I will be able to see it through settings if needed to be entered in the raffle!!
On Wednesday I found out the news I had been dreading to hear. The news that I felt would mess up my plans and change the path I had for myself. Something that we had talked about but I had never dreamed would actually happen.
We found out that this summer we are not able to run across the country because of the Coronavirus. It was expected, but I was hanging on to the last bit of hope. The thing that put a stop to college, restaurants, airplanes and leaving the house was able to put a stop to my run for young adults with cancer all the way in June.
I’ll be honest with you, I cried. But only for a little bit. I let it sink in, I talked to my friends... I took a breath. Then I thought about the positives...
1) They’re doing a virtual version so this summer I can still dedicate some miles
2) I can do it again next summer although I’ll have to raise some more money
3) Bree can do it with me next summer!
4) My injury was starting to slowly come back and now I have plenty of time to probably heal it (this is a big one for me!)
5) We still get our gear to run in this summer
6) I get to support the cause for another year, learn more about young adults with cancer and share that with other people
I feel like you probably had two thoughts there... that’s sad and crazy and oh no she’s going to ask me for more money. No worries! I will not be asking you for more money! If you were interested in donating though and haven’t yet, please wait for next year so it can count towards my next goal to allow me to run! I will keep you updated on when that fundraising opens! I hope to fundraise in a different way this year, by not asking my supporters again, but rather go out (assuming that the Coronavirus will allow it). My goal will be smaller with more of a pull for awareness. This blog has been hard this year to keep up with and I want to bring it back as promised although I will keep a small focus on young adults with cancer.
This news breaks my heart but there is so much that can come out of it and so much I can learn. Thank you for your support already so far, I couldn’t do any of this without you. I am truly amazed with how much support I have gotten. Please please continue to follow along and follow through both my journeys of virtually running across the country and then physically in 2021!
Also, if you had a dedication day, I am still deciding what to do, but I think I will dedicate a day in 2020 and 2021! With that being said, if you are interested in having me dedicate a day to someone you know with cancer, please pass the name along and I would be more than honored to run for your loved one! Please feel free to comment and reach out to me with any questions! As I get more information, I will keep you updated :)
We started off the week with a meme – “this week we have daylight savings time, a full moon and it’s Friday the 13th so good luck.” If anyone was like me and you saw that, you probably just laughed and thought that’s a good one but now here we are... Social media is filled with fear, colleges are closing, businesses are closing and people aren’t getting paid, you can’t get toilet paper in stores, the NBA isn’t happening, the economy is dropping and the world has literally come to a screeching stop in less than a week.
Where’s the happiness in that?
Well if you dig down under the negatives of social media and the complaints of the people around you there are some positives. The world is connecting during this time. Everyone in the world is connected by this virus and because of it people are coming together to help. For example, China is having a medical group go to Italy to help people fight the virus. More than 70% of people in China have recovered and are home from the hospital. Soccer fans in Italy are donating their ticket refunds to hospitals. There is progress with the coronavirus, people are just choosing to look past that and fill themselves with worry.
One of the good things that come out of this is that you have a bigger opportunity to love others! People are becoming worried and fearful. If you’re not, talk to those people and let them talk to you in order to calm their anxiety. If you have extra of something that you don’t need, you can give to others. You could offer to make meals or go to the grocery store for at-risk people. Even just thanking people you know who work in hospitals is HUGE. Talk about the positives and don’t focus on those negatives.
Of all things, it’s really important to remember it’s more than just you! If you’re not worried, it’s probably because of your age and health you don’t have to. But there are so many people that you’ll come in contact with that will need to be very careful. Just BREATHE. It will all be okay. Take this time to reduce your stress if you can. The world is paused! You can catch up on some work or sleep or even some exercise. Check out the fun chart below I saw on Facebook and see what happens when we all just take a moment to remember it’s more than us and stay away from public spaces.
Now that you’re probably stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Love others! You probably have more time to talk on the phone now or read that book you’ve wanted to. Take it one day at a time and remember we’re in this together. If you get overwhelmed, breathe, it will make it 100 times better for you and the people around you.
As for happiness during this time? Helping others brings happiness and you can do that by considering donating money to food shelters, reaching out to elderly neighbors to see if they need anything, or coloring pictures with your family to send to nursing homes. Share how you helped others during this time! I would love to post your ideas to share with everyone so we can keep on giving :)
“It’s more than just a bracelet, it’s a job in a third world country.” You could wear this bracelet and support young adults with cancer. If you’ve never heard of Pura Vida, you are missing out! Pura Vida is a company that gives over 800 people in Costa Rica, El Salvador, India and more a steady income and a positive work environment. Their bracelets are not only beautiful but go to help so many people.
The bracelets are each handcrafted and are “as unique as the person wearing it.” Every bracelet is made by someone with a story and every purchase helps make someone’s story better. Pura Vida means “pure life” in Spanish. It’s important to celebrate the simple things… the simple things are the things that can make you happy.
I personally have had Pura Vida bracelets for as long as I can remember. They’re perfect for every occasion and last a life time.
Not only do these bracelets help people in third world countries have an income, but by purchasing one of these you can help young adults with cancer. Over half of your purchase will go directly to the Ulman Foundation and through a match we will be able to double that!
You can help multiple people through this donation and we need you to help us reach our goal! Please consider purchasing one or two (or even 10 for your family and friends to match!) The colors are blue, yellow and white which represent the Ulman Foundation. Every time you wear this bracelet you can be someone who spreads awareness for young adults with cancer, the age that is often forgotten.
Check out Pura Vida’s website with the link below and watch their video (Scroll all the way to the bottom) to learn more! (It’s a really cool video!) If you’re interested in purchasing a bracelet for young adults with cancer, please follow the link below for more information and to order yours today!
I promise I'm not the only one who is crazy enough to run 6-16 miles every day for 49 days this summer across the country. When I saw the Instagram ad for 4k last year, I immediately sent it to Bree with the words "WE HAVE TO DO THIS!" I knew if I was going to take on the journey, I would want to experience it with her. I couldn't have asked for a better friend to train with. Here's her story to why she decided to run across the country with me:
"When I first heard about 4K for Cancer, I decided right away it was something I needed to be a part of. Without any hesitation, I was ready to jump right in. Well, that reaction lasted a total of ten minutes. Following these ten minutes was a swarm of thoughts about finances, time away from home, possible summer internships, and everything in between. Reality had hit me right in the face.
I decided I would sleep on it for a while, not wanting to acknowledge everything that could potentially stop me from following through on this idea. So, I let myself keep the idea on the back burner for the next three months. Well, more like safely hidden away, behind the milk in the refrigerator, still defrosting. But still, it was there.
In May, the application was released. This sparked another ten minutes of courage and I decided to sign up for an interview. A few days after the interview, I got a phone call saying I was accepted, and an email would be sent with a registration link.
This was real. The milk was long gone now. The fridge was open, and this was now sizzling in front of me on the stove with high heat! Cassidy and I clicked the link at the same time, registered and everything became official.
When I was talking to my parents about the run and what it would mean for my summer and even my spring semester, my dad said something profound. He said, “A major part of being a leader is taking action, then believing the right people will show up to help out.” Watching my dad, this is exactly how he lives. He is such a strong man who hardly says no. Many times, he isn’t fully equipped to do whatever he is agreeing to, but he knows himself. He will learn and lean on others, so later he can be the strong post they can lean on twice as much. Running across the country is an amazing opportunity for me to exercise my dad’s lesson. It is day 150 of training. I have had to sacrifice a lot; my time, my energy, my sleep. But I have done intense training before with the Annapolis Ten Miler, the Virginia Rock and Roll Half Marathon, the Bay Bridge Run, and so many more.
But this run requires something more. The fundraising aspect was, and still is such a challenge for me. I have never had to raise money like this, and I am still learning how to actively involve people in my training. So, taking my dad as an example, I leaned on Cassidy. She is an amazing fundraiser and has such a heart for helping people. She raised the required $4,500 before I even came halfway to that goal. She inspires me so much and I knew I needed her help. We now meet every Tuesday to debrief and go over our next fundraising move. Every week after leaving that meeting, I can’t help but feel so thankful for her. In her selfless nature, she gives up her Tuesday nights to help me because we are in this together. In these 150 days, I have learned that Cassidy is my sturdy post and she keeps me grounded and moving forward in this amazing life changing journey."
Did you know that a majority of companies (around 66%) have a matching gifts program! A matching gift program allows employees to donate to a nonprofit organization and the company will MATCH that donation. That means if you have been think of donating, but didn’t think it was enough, you can match it and DOUBLE your donation!! Even if this doesn’t apply to you it could apply to your friend, mom, boyfriend, spouse or even your grandma!
If you match your donation, you’re giving more and helping in a tremendous way. With the new year starting just 18 days ago, it is not likely that you’ve already used your maximum to donate and I know the perfect foundation to give to! (hint it’s the Ulman Foundation).
This is amazing even if you were interested in giving to a different foundation. Your donation could be doubled just by going through your company! I don’t know about you, but I think that is a pretty amazing opportunity for you and for the nonprofit you’re donating to.
After you read this, I’m hoping you’re ready to look up the company you work for or a friend works for and see if they have this program! As a bonus, tell the people that you work with that you know someone who is running across the country for young adults with cancer and see if your company can raise money! PLUS the company that raises the most money, can win enough materials for a hot chocolate party as some motivation!
The only thing is if you do this and would like the money to go towards my goal (all the money still goes right to the foundation - this is just saying how much I personally raised) make sure to put in the comments “4k for Cancer – Cassidy Dunn”. That is very important! Also, send me an email to let me know you did it, 1) so I can send you a handwritten thank you note because it really means so much to me every time someone donates even a dollar and 2) so I can keep an eye out for it and make sure it goes through!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! I hope you learned something from reading this and maybe you’ll even go through and donate to the Ulman Foundation with a matching gift! They’ll most likely ask for a tax ID so I provided the Ulman foundation’s tax ID below.
Tax ID: EIN: 52-2057636
Have you ever wanted to get into running or be a better runner?
You’ve seen people you know go out and successfully run a 5k or even a marathon and probably thought “I could never” or “Maybe one day.” What if that day was today! What if you could learn to run and your motive could be for more than yourself, but for young adults with cancer!
For my fundraiser, you get a small personalized training plan from a certified instructor and all the money goes directly to a foundation. This does not happen often so you should probably take the deal now :) Or at least tell that one friend who keeps saying I wish I could run.
I Really Am Certified!
I should probably give you a little background, so you know that I am actually a certified instructor. I was certified as a running instructor last summer through ASFA (American Sport and Fitness Association) but that didn’t start my running career. I officially started running four years ago as a sophomore in high school. I just started by running 5ks in the area and ran on my own. Later I joined my high school cross country team as a senior and learned how to excel in my running career and how it really works. I even got 7th place in our championship race!
High school was so much fun that I went onto college running and ran for my college team. Sadly, I got an injury that didn’t allow me to keep up with the intense practices but after months and months of rest I could finally start running again. I did, however, learn even more within running. When I quit the team, I didn’t want to stop running so I created a running club on my campus and am now the president of the running club. With about 15 regular runners, every week I plan how we’re going to do our runs and do it while having fun. Although that wasn’t enough running for me, I also wanted to teach people how to run and with a new fitness building being built on my campus and openings for instructors, I applied. Now, I have taught running classes for a full semester and have literally seen people go from couch to 5k in my class. I am going into my second semester teaching classes and am training (as you know) to run across the country with a trainer who has taught me even more. When I say you will get personal training, it will be fit for you with things I have personally learned myself and have seen work for other runners.
How would this even work?
First, send me an email (button below) and we'll set up a time to either talk on the phone or send emails back and forth, whatever you prefer. Even if I know you, I probably don’t know much about your background in running (it’s okay if you have none!) I just need to get an idea of where to start so you aren’t bored! Within a week, I’ll get you your three weeks of training. It will take me a few days to think and plan something that will work best and help you excel the most. Once I get the training to you, I’ll explain it so you understand and always be around for questions.
After the first week, we’ll talk about how it went and if we need to make any adjustments. After the three weeks are up, you can decide if you want to do some more training weeks or if you think you can keep it up on your own! We’ll talk about your goals and you’ll be ready to beat that new year’s resolution (for only $30 as a donation if I may add!)
So why am I doing this as a fundraiser?
I love teaching people to run. It is honestly one of my favorite things to do. I also love planning so all of it comes together. If you have even the slightest interest or want to do just one week to give it a try, please let me know. Not only will this help me with my fundraising, but it is something I truly enjoy doing.
Even if I have never met you, consider participating in this fundraiser! I do also have a college discount planned if you're a college student, don’t let the price turn you away!! I really hope I can help you get over the first bridge of a possible running career in the future. Remember anyone can do it, if you just try and through this you can do it with me for young adults with cancer.
Today I was given the wonderful opportunity to set up a table and tell people about my run across the country at the Sly Fox Half Marathon in Pottstown. I also got to watch some amazing runners complete a 5k and a half marathon! If you picked up a card today, welcome to my blog! I'm so happy you were able to find my blog :) At the table, we gave out hot chocolate (thanks to the Restaurant Store!). It was so fun telling people about the Ulman Foundation and how they could help. In total we were able to raise $235! I’m super excited and so thankful for everyone who donated!
I also wanted to update you on the fact that I am home for break!! With that being said, if you still are unsure of what this thing is that I am doing with running across the entire country and would like to talk about it, send me a message and we can find a time that works for you! Plus, I’d love to see how YOU are doing!
Since I feel like I’m giving you updates at this point, I’ll tell you that next weekend I’ll be at Barnes and Noble wrapping gifts!! On Saturday the 21st, we’ll be in Exton and on the 22nd, we’ll be in Valley Forge all day! If you’re free, swing by and say hello and get a gift wrapped! (Tell your friends too!) If you’re free for more than a few minutes and would like to help wrap some gifts, I would love having more people join and volunteer!! Anytime next weekend from open to close we’ll be there if you would like to help out! Just send me a message through any social media or email and let me know!
I also just want to say a quick THANK YOU! Thank you so much for supporting me as I am fundraising and blogging about my preparation for my run across the country! I’m almost at my half way mark of $10,000 and still have half a year left!! I really couldn’t have gone this far without you! :)