Mount Marty College (MMC) senior Caitlin Davis (’17) is planning a cross-country tour for the summer of 2017. But the seven-week road trip isn’t a celebratory getaway post-graduation.
Instead, the Elk Point native is dedicating 49 days of her summer break to 4K for Cancer, a 4,500+-mile run/bike from San Francisco to Baltimore aimed at spreading awareness, raising funds and fostering hope within the cancer community.
“Everything about this opportunity spoke to my passions and my values,” Davis says of her decision to join 4K for Cancer. “I’ve been running since middle school, and it’s something that I derive magnitudes of joy from. This opportunity takes my God-given love for running and allows me to use it to glorify him and to serve his people.”
The 4K for Cancer is a program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organization based in Baltimore that works to create a community of support for young adults and their loved ones through cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Davis will join 29 other team members — all college students between the ages of 18 and 25 — who were selected through an interview process to participate in the 4K. The group will run 10 to 16 miles every day and stop in communities along the way to connect with cancer patients and survivors.
“Running 10 to 16 miles a day is going to be a battle, but it’s nothing compared to the battle that cancer patients face every day,” Davis says. “During the run, we will write the names of individuals who are fighting the battle on our legs to symbolize the fact that we are running for a battle/purpose far greater than our own. I’ll be learning so much, traveling to new places and incorporating new perspectives into my own through all the wonderful people I’ll meet along the way.”
During the next five months, Davis’ personal goal is to raise $5,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund. Eighty-seven of the funds raised will be used on mission-related programs, such as scholarships for young adults battling cancer and service events for cancer communities throughout the country.
A human services/criminal justice major, Davis is a Mother Jerome Schmidt Presidential Scholar for the 2016-17 academic year and member of the MMC cross-country and track teams. She has served as a resident assistant for the past two academic years, has been involved with MMC Student Government and STEP Club (Serving Training and Explore our Potential), is president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a tutor in the college’s Center for Academic Excellence. Davis will attend the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder this fall, where she plans to focus on juvenile and family law.
“Being able to balance these activities with academics has been instrumental to both my personal and professional development,” Davis says of her involvement at MMC. “Through this involvement, I’ve cultivated my leadership skills, formed valuable connections and cultivated my character.”