Parishville-Hopkinton Central graduate running from Baltimore to San Francisco
Sunday, February 4, 2018 - 5:11 pm

By MATT LINDSEY

PARISHVILLE — A Parishville-Hopkinton Central graduate will run from San Francisco to Baltimore in 49 days to raise money for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Brianna Hayes, a 2014 graduate, chose to run to help raise awareness and money for a cause that hits close to home for her.

“There is a lot of cancer within my family,” she said.

Hayes, who has three sets of grandparents, says all three of her grandmothers have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian and Lymphoma.

Hayes said a relationship she had with her high school soccer coaches’ son also drove her to want to join the 4K for Cancer.

Hayes, now a senior at Ithaca College, will join a team of 25-30 other college-aged runners in their quest across the country. She hopes to raise at least $7,000. To donate, visit https://ulman.z2systems.com/brianna-hayes.

Hayes said money can be raised through bake sales, dinners and t-shirt sales.

Teams are hosted by local communities, in schools, churches, and community centers, where they have a chance to interact with their hosts and share their cancer connections.

This helps offset costs related to housing and meals. The only cost for runners is gas for a vehicle that carries all of their supplies. All donation money goes to the foundation, Hayes said.

Funds are used for scholarships for young people impacted by cancer. For example, if a child’s mom has cancer the youth could use money to pay bills or even toward education.

“The center provides resources, help people navigate the cancer community and provides stays in treatment centers at no cost,” Hayes said.

Hayes registered early and was able to choose her route, which includes running near the Grand Canyon, Sierra Mountains and Rocky Mountains. “I will get to see these amazing spots,” she said.

Hayes is a member of the track team at her college, but will follow a training regimen offered by Ulman Cancer Fund representatives.

The program details training to complete daily leading up to the 4,500-mile run which takes place June 17 until Aug. 4.

Runners will train each month in various cross-training methods to prepare their bodies for running up to 16 miles each day. The run is completed in a relay style and runners always run in pairs.

Training will build endurance and help runners hopefully avoid injury, Hayes said.

Hayes will double as a trainer and is responsible for tracking weekly training of other runners and will monitor and hopefully prevent any injuries.

When not on the road, rest days are spent visiting local hospitals to offer support to patients and families. Participants also will learn more about cancer treatment during these visits, meeting with doctors, nurses, and social workers.

“We actually get to stop in hospitals, meet doctors and see the strides they are making,” Hayes said.

Along the way, each team also awards two college scholarships to young adults impacted by cancer.

A leading voice in the young adult cancer movement, The Ulman Cancer Fund has been working since 1997 at both the community level and with national partners to raise awareness of young adult cancer issues, and at a local level to ensure that no young adult faces cancer alone.