UA student to run from San Francisco to Baltimore in the 4K for Cancer

Kevin Brost | Arizona Daily Wildcat

Kevin Brost / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Molly Gebner is trying to spread cancer awareness by participating in an Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults’ 4K run, starting from San Francisco and ending in Baltimore in just 30 days.

“Riam Nar Druid O Sbarin Lann,” is a Gaelic saying tattooed on the inside of Molly Gebler’s arm, which serves as a tribute to her cousin, Ryan Gebler, who passed away from cancer this past December.

The phrase was printed on the Irish Brigade flag and translates to “Who Never Retreated From the Clash of Spears,” referring to the soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

This summer, to honor Ryan’s passing, Gebler, a psychology senior, is trying to participate in the 4K for Cancer. The run is organized by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating young adults and their families affected by cancer, according to their website.

Gebler is working to come up with $4,500 donation money in order to run.

“I wish I had found out about them sooner because they’re fantastic. Honestly, what they do is amazing,” Gebler said. “Like simple things me and you wouldn’t even think about like fertility, relationships, getting a job, things like that, we’re just doing it, and they [cancer patients] can’t right now.”

This is the first year that participants will actually be running the course, which is about a 4,000-mile trek from San Francisco to Baltimore. Runners spend eight months fundraising, with $4,500 serving as the minimum, and training for the run, according to the website.

The group consists of 30 runners who are paired up for safety reasons and will run 12 miles a day, with the runners getting one day off a week. The pairs will run different portions of the route every day and will be picked up by a van at the end of each.

Runners will keep trading off until the entire route has been completed. The run begins June 15 and will end July 14.

Throughout the run, runners will be staying at host family’s homes and donors and sponsors will provide gear, housing and food. Along the way, runners will also be visiting hospitals to raise awareness and hope among the cancer patients.

“Our big thing is just to spread hope and inspiration because cancer sucks. We haven’t found a way to beat it but you can’t beat spreading hope,” Gebler said. “That’s what our goal is. You just give them something worth fighting for.”

Gebler said training for the 4K hasn’t been too difficult because the program doesn’t require any running experience. She does, however, have a mantra she used to tell herself to push through the last of her miles: “I can for those who can’t.”

Some of Gebler’s friends commented on her strength and determination.

“The run is, I think, not just for her cousin and family, but also for herself,” said Natalie Brand, a junior studying German and a close friend of Gebler. “I think her family and her friends mean a lot to her. I know she just lost a relative and I know that has a lot to do with why she’s determined to do this run.”

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