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Jen's Ride to Conquer Cancer

Organized by: Refinnej Namkhurb

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My name is Jen Brukhman, and I am 17 years old. When I was very little, my dad, Vitaly Brukhman, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After undergoing several rounds of radiation therapy and surgery to have his thyroid removed, he went into remission until it came back last winter. Since then, he has had two more surgeries, and refuses to continue with radiation treatment for fear it might cause another, more aggressive cancer.

My dad is lucky. Thyroid cancer is relatively slow growing, and the doctors caught it early enough that his treatment proved to be nearly successful. Like most cancers, however, it is persistent. The treatments we have available now are effective enough to help many people, but they are extremely invasive. The three surgeries my dad has had left him without feeling on the surface of more than 1/8th of his body, without a thyroid, and without a good chunk of his lymphatic system. Radiation and chemo therapy literally attack the patient's body with the hopes that the cancer will die faster than the healthy tissue will deteriorate. It causes the patient to feel ill during treatment, and heightens the risk of getting another cancer later on.

There is valuable research being carried out that not only brought us these treatments, but is continuing to find alternatives that work better and are safer for all those involved. The cancers that we have yet to find a cure for are being explored inside and out, so that a feasible cure could be attained. The future is happening and innovation is helping our healthcare progress, but it can't happen without funding.

It is crucial that we fund the research that is saving our own lives. The invasive treatment my dad has to go through again and again is not a cure. The chemotherapy that crippled my grandpa for weeks is not a cure. The radiation that threatens the onset of more cancer is not a cure. Research needs to continue at the pace it's been or more for an alternative to be found, so that more dads can walk their daughters down the isle, and more moms can kiss their children good night, and more grandpas can read bedtime stories.

I am raising money for an event called The Ride to Conquer Cancer. The Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center is a two-day cycling journey through Pennsylvania’s picturesque scenery. Funds raised in The Ride to Conquer Cancer will support The Abramson Cancer Center's vision to eradicate cancer as a cause of human disease and suffering through precision medicine, novel research, next-generation therapies, and compassionate care.

The Abramson Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatment facilities in the world. My goal is to contribute as much as I can in every way possible so that the research there can continue without hindrance. Even if we don't make it to $5,000, every cent will still be contributed to the cause, and will still make an impact.


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Refinnej Namkhurb

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