The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is a non-profit organization with the goal of helping young people affected by cancer.

As part of the Ulman Fund, runners are making their way from San Francisco to Baltimore for the 4K for Cancer program. Along they way, runners are stopping at hospitals to meet with cancer patients, talk with them, and hopefully brighten up their days.

Monday’s stop: Deaconess Gateway’s Chancellor Center for Oncology.

“Running across the country is hard, and when it get’s really tough, we just think about that the fight people are going through against cancer is so much harder,” runner Sarah Eacho said.

It’s a disease that has touched so many, and at the Chancellor Center, everyday is a test of willpower.

“But it’s been a long road, but you got to stay positive, and you got to fight and fight, and then when you see people like these young ones coming in today, that you know, every mile matters, there is so much truth to that, because this is a nasty, nasty disease,” said Brenda, a lung cancer patient.

The group of young runners is on day 37 of their journey. It’s been journey filled with a lot of sweat, perseverance, and meaningful conversation.

“I was very impressed with them. They did not focus on the disease. We talked more about where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and what we hope to do, so I think that’s better,” Joyce Lawrence said. “It gives you energy, and it gives you hope.”

“A lot of people tend to battle things alone, and they think it’s ok to be alone, but in reality, there’s always a better way to have support,” 4K for Cancer director Katherine Schaffer said.

Beyond talking and caring, the runners also brought gifts. The bags they gave patients included blankets, back-scratchers, and other goods that can make life a little easier.

With hundreds of miles to go, the interaction between runners and patients may have been brief, but it left an impact.

“It just blows me away that these kids would take their time, energy, you know, it’s just amazing, just amazing. These are phenomenal young human beings,” Brenda said.

Runners are scheduled to make it to Baltimore on August 5th.