After senior Lauren Glase walks across the stage to graduate this May, she will not have a lengthy break to physically rejuvenate for the real world. Instead, she will be traveling on a one-way airline ticket to San Francisco. In lieu of a return flight to the East Coast, she will be running over 4,000 miles across the country to Baltimore, Maryland.
Glase was inspired to do this run after the loss of her friend Angela DeCarlo to Liposarcoma. She will be running with about 25 other people through a program conducted by the Ulman Foundation called 4K for Cancer, that, according to their website, “changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.”
Glase found out about this program through the college roommate of a friend, who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and proceeded to encourage Glase to take part in the program as well after a positive experience.
“[She] came back and just raved about it,” said Glase. “I was able to be involved when she finished her race, cheering her on. And then she encouraged me to do the same run this year.”
Glase will be running anywhere from two to 16 miles a day for 49 days. In addition to the running, her group will be stopping at various locations to serve cancer patients across the country.
Although Glase is not an athlete, her professor, Denny Gerwin of the art, design and music department, was not surprised that Glase is embarking on this journey and cites her ability to instinctively perceive the best way to help as one of her strengths.
“She had a way of paying attention to what was happening to know what she could be doing to be most helpful without having to be told what to do,” said Gerwin. “She could kinda see what I was doing and know that I needed the screwdriver or I needed someone to put her hand on the equipment somewhere.”
Glase started regularly running in August, just three months before she committed to this program. Because of this, she is still uncertain about what to expect. Nevertheless, she is optimistic that she is capable.
“People keep saying, ‘Are you excited about this,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I’m mostly nervous,” said Glase. I think, in my head, it’s worse than it’s actually gonna be.”