4K for Cancer began as the Hopkins 4K for Cancer in 2001 when a group of undergraduate students at the Johns Hopkins University decided to combine their desire to fight against cancer with their dream of cycling across the country. Founded by Ryan Hanley in the memory of his father who passed away from cancer, the 4K set off on the first 4,000-mile journeys from Baltimore to San Francisco in the summer of 2002. The founding team included Jenn Hardy, Leah Blom, Kelly Hewitt and Brent Bass.
Since our beginning, we’ve been blessed each year to have amazing student leaders volunteer a year of their time to lead our cross-country rides.
After seven successful years riding under the Johns Hopkins umbrella and three years as a stand alone non-profit, the 4K became a program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
This merger unites two organizations that have similar histories, a common vision, and an extraordinary base of supporters. Both organizations were started and grown on college campuses, and our long history of positive impact on the cancer community is derived directly from our passionate base of students and alumni. Our goal for the merger is to continue to empower our riders and alumni to make a positive impact in the cancer community, while improving the support that they receive to do so.
While we don’t cycle days without showers in hopes of recognition or awards, we have to admit that it has felt good when we’ve been graciously recognized.
The 4K for Cancer was named “Special Event of the Year” by The American Cancer Society and was presented with the first ever Pioneer Award, an honor specially created for our “innovative, creative, and trailblazing efforts in the fight against cancer.”
Additionally, the 4K received the “Outstanding Youths in Philanthropy Award” from the Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as the Excalibur Award from the ACS for exceptional dedication to the fight against cancer.
We are determined to continue to be leaders in the fight against cancer.