Hey there – Sam here, Team Boston 2018 4K for Cancer Runner.

Here to tell you, with certainty, that the summer of 2018 was THE best summer of my life. It brought so many smiles, laughs, tears and surprises, and left me with some of the most fun, yet impactful experiences I have ever had. The 4K for Cancer program is something truly special. I have been thankful every single day since that day, last December, when I worked up the courage to sign up.

In June, I flew out to San Francisco, both eager and anxious for this summer’s adventures. And in only 7 weeks, I came back to the east coast with 23 of my closest friends and a lifetime full of memories.

There is no way to accurately explain to someone what it is like to wake up at 4:30am every morning, run all day, and then explore a new town and immerse yourself in a different community every single day…for 49 straight days. This is what creates such a special bond between all of the members of my team, and the rest of the 4K teams. We all went through such a crazy adventure, and an even more cathartic experience.

There was no way I could have prepared ahead of time for how meaningful this summer was going to be. I ended up running for so many people close to me that I never knew had cancer. Once they found out I was doing 4K, they opened up and shared their stories with me. This was by far the most unexpected challenge I had to face, but also what made this summer so much more meaningful. I was able to impact so many more people than I had ever imagined.

Cancer is often not talked about as much as it should be due to the stigma around it — which is most likely why many of these people tried to hide their story from their loved ones. But I was able to be an outlet for so many. This really grounds you. It reminds you everyday what you are doing this all for. Every day of the run I had a new name to write on my leg or arm to inspire me for that day. Being able to see the impact I had on that person and their loved one simply by writing down a name left me in awe.

As one of my teammates said perfectly, “being a part of the cancer community is like joining a club that nobody asked to be a part of, yet somehow it unites almost everyone.”

I cannot thank the 4K for Cancer program and the Ulman Foundation enough for giving me the opportunity this summer to give back to that community in the best way I possibly could.

Don’t miss out on this life-changing opportunity!

– Sam Snyder, Team Boston 2018