From San Francisco to New York City - Cory Henderson completes his run

Monday, September 19, 2016

 Cory in New York City - Brooklyn Bridge

My name is Cory Henderson. I live in Shoreline and this summer I ran from San Francisco to New York City in a relay fundraiser with 22 other college-aged individuals.

The trip is with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults with the mission to spread hope and support to all young adults affected by cancer.

I personally ran this summer because I lost my father to cancer in 2014. I officially became a part of this fundraiser in December of 2015 and trained for the next five months before the run started.

Cory in New York

It’s been about a month since I got back from my run across the country. I’m finding it truly difficult to sum up my experience into a short article. I was honestly nervous about starting this journey with 22 strangers. The 4k threw us all together and showed us how we may all come from vastly different backgrounds and places from every corner of the United States, but we all have similarities that make us connected in more ways than we know.

I learned something about myself from each of my teammates that I will carry with me forever.

One thing that I learned and experienced throughout the trip is the idea of taking risks and asking myself, "Why not me?”

I did this when applying for the run and I’m so thankful I did because we as a team grew together in so many ways. We’ll share memories forever. Memories like: skydiving over Idaho, hiking to Burney Falls in California, inner tubing in Michigan, swimming in Lake Michigan, running a marathon through New York City, getting lost together in the middle  of nowhere, bringing smiles to cancer patients' faces, singing constantly, laughing, crying, crying from laughter.

I am so happy I could do this run in honor of my father. There were many times when I saw and personally felt signs that he was with me cheering me on every mile.

Niagra Falls
Sure, there were moments where I was worried whether I would finish or not. But I found inspiration in some great and unexpected places.

One example was after a long day in Iowa. We quickly stopped at a coffee shop in a very small rural town. The only people in this shop was an elderly woman sitting alone and the store owner. As we sat down at a table, the woman randomly asked us if we were running across the country. I said yes and began talking with her. None of us told her beforehand about our trip but she recognized our logo and told us her grandson’s friend was in another one of the 4k for Cancer runs this year. The woman’s name was Pat. She is a breast cancer survivor. Her husband, Ernie, past away from cancer years ago. I sat with Pat for 20 minutes and heard her story and shared my own story.

Cory in San Francisco with "DAD"
written on the back of his leg
to remind him of why he was running.
Moments like sitting with Pat made the run an experience that I will remember forever. It’s like what my father said within the weeks of his passing. It was about making moments on the 4k. Moments like sitting with Pat. Or witnessing a person leave the James Cancer Research Center and ringing a bell near the door signifying that they have finished their cancer treatment and are cancer free. These moments will be with me in whatever I do.

I can fall back on them and remind myself what living life is all about. It’s about love, compassion, kindness, and making every moment you have count.

Thank you to all who have supported me with your thoughts and encouragement! I wouldn’t have finished without your support. Thank you also to anyone who donated to my run. I wouldn’t have been able to do the run without your support.

I have raised over $13,000 and i’m so appreciative of all who have donated to support my 4k run and the Ulman Cancer Fun for Young Adults.

I dedicated my run to about 60 people affected by cancer this summer. Each of their names were written on the back of my leg at some point during the run.

Cory Henderson
I’m so happy I was able to dedicate my run to these people. The sad truth about cancer is that 7.6 million people die around the world each year from cancer. There are lots of ways we can all help.

I will continue to support the cancer community in honor of my father. He will be with me always and if I can help someone’s experience with cancer be just a little bit better, then it will be a moment I will cherish forever.

Cory is a graduate of Shorecrest High School and Shoreline Community College, and is currently studying Film Production at Central Washington University.

You can still donate to Cory's fund at his page here. Another $2000 will help him reach his original goal.


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