LIVINGSTON, NJ — When Livingston resident Suchan "Paul" Park graduates this week from Boston College, he will be gearing up to participate in the Ulman Foundation’s "4K for Cancer," a cross-country biking fundraiser that covers 4,000 miles in 70 days from Baltimore to San Francisco.
The bikers, who are all between the ages of 18 and 25, plan to ride 80 miles a day while also volunteering at cancer centers and hospitals along the way, according to Park.
This year will mark the 18th annual 4K for Cancer event through the Ulman Foundation, whose mission is to support young adults impacted by cancer as well as their loved ones. The Ulman Foundation has helped 8,031 of the 72,000 young adults (15 to 39 years old) who are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Park is biking in honor of his uncle, who died from pancreatic cancer when Park was a student at Burnet Hill Elementary School, as well as for a friend whose mother was recently diagnosed with cancer. As a child, Park said he felt helpless while his uncle was sick; but now he’s contributing in a big way to the fight against cancer.
This is Park’s third cancer fundraiser, as he has also participated in The American Cancer Society’s Boston College Relay for Life and ran a 24-hour relay with his cross-country team to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
He said he discovered the Ulman Foundation and the 4K for Cancer program when a friend signed up for it three summers ago.
“I was interested in the program, but the timing didn’t really work out until this summer,” he said. “I realized that since I am graduating, it is now or never for me to do this.”
Park is currently preparing for the long ride with spinning classes and training rides. He also anticipates having a crash course on bike equipment.
“I have almost no experience with bikes or any of the equipment I’ll need during my ride so I expect the first couple days or weeks to be fairly challenging,” said Park. “But that’s why I decided to apply for the program. I wanted to serve others, push myself to my limits, and mentally sort of hit the reset button after graduating from college.
“I’m hoping to learn a lot this summer, learn some humility and maybe gain new perspectives on life.”
Park’s goal is to raise $4,500 before beginning taking off on June 2. Visit his fundraising website HERE to contribute to his efforts.