Source: North Jersey.com
Not many people can say they plan to spend their summer running across the country. But lifelong Bergenfield resident Tony Varughese is doing just that.
From June 19 through Aug. 6, Varughese is joining a relay team of 26 other college-age individuals to run from San Francisco, Calif., to Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of 4K for Cancer, a program started by the nonprofit organization, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF).
Varughese learned about the 4K for Cancer from one of his Seton Hall University friends. Varughese graduated from Bergenfield High School in 2013 and is now a junior at Seton Hall.
“I learned what Ulman was all about and found the organization very unique,” he said. “I immediately wanted to get involved.”
Varughese is a member of the New York Run which will join five other teams — Baltimore Run, Portland Ride, San Diego Ride, San Francisco Ride and Seattle Ride — that will also be running or biking along their own routes.
The 4K for Cancer seemed like the perfect fit for Varughese to raise money for a cause that recently hit close to home. “My uncle, Thomas Varghese, died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 13, 2012. “He is definitely a huge motivation for me because this is something I think he would be very proud of. He inspires me, and I feel honored to run in his memory and others’ who have had to battle cancer.”
During the 49-day of more than 4.000 miles, Varughese’s relay team will run in pairs, for two-mile intervals. The average distance a runner will complete each day is about 13.1 miles, or a half-marathon. Throughout the journey, runners will periodically have rest days during which they will visit various hospitals to meet patients battling cancer.
The goal of the 4K for Cancer is to travel across America while offering hope, inspiration and support to cancer communities along the way.
Varughese said each team on the 4K will also have the privilege of giving out scholarships. He said he looks forward to both the physical and emotional challenges the trip will bring.
“I’m confident in my abilities and my physical strength to run,” he said, “and I’ve been consistently training to keep me in check.”
The first and only young adult cancer-support organization of its kind, the mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is to create a community of support and a network of support services that addresses the unique needs of for young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer. Click here to donate.