LEC student Gina Henley to run for a cause


A love of running and desire to help others were the two motivating factors in Gina Henley’s plan to run across the United States this summer.

Henley, currently a Lake Erie College sophomore, has been selected as a participant in the fourth annual 4K for Cancer Run to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. From June 19 through Aug. 6, she will be running with a group of approximately 30 college-aged students on a 49-day, 4,000-mile cross-country trek from San Francisco to Baltimore. The group’s route across America is pictured on the map shown.

Runners will be required to run between six and 16 miles each day. Team members will be partnered up, running with the same teammate for their day’s miles, but with a different teammate each day. Running pairs will be dropped along the route in two-mile increments and, at the end of each runner’s segment, he or she will have time to rest in the support van. Rest days will be built in every three to six days of the trip.

Along the way, the group will do community projects and visit cancer patients. They will sleep in churches, community centers, gyms and with families in private homes. Sponsoring groups will provide meals and/or team members will be responsible for purchasing their own. 

“I am excited to be challenged, both physically and mentally, throughout this journey,” Henley said. “It is important for everyone to make a difference in the world and help others around them, and this is a great opportunity for me to do just that. Cancer affects almost everyone in one way or another, so I am proud to be a part of this amazing organization that supports those whose lives are impacted by cancer.” 

At LEC, Henley is a Dean’s List student, majoring in business and human resource management and minoring in math. She serves as the sophomore class representative to the Student Government Association, is a College Ambassador and serves on the Student Athletic Association Advisory Committee. She is also captain of the cross country and track teams and is a successful long-distance runner; in fact, she holds the school record in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 11 minutes, 12 seconds.

Last summer, Henley worked as a cart girl and waitress at a golf course near her hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. During the academic year, she is a student worker in the LEC institutional advancement office. She is eagerly anticipating her cross-country trek during the summer of 2016, although she admits that she is a little apprehensive about the experience.

“I’m excited, but nervous,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the group I will be with and others I will meet along the way, but I also know that meeting cancer patients could be emotional.”     

The mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is to change lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. The organization operates with the following values:  Be Human. Be Better. Be Courageous. Be Committed. “We envision a world in which no young adult faces cancer alone” is the group’s vision.

As a participant in the Run Across America, Henley is responsible for raising a minimum of $4,500. She, however, has a more ambitious goal of $6,000 and is more than halfway toward reaching this milestone. Those who wish to donate to her ride can do so online at the following address:  www.4Kforcancer.org/profiles/gina-henley/

We extend our best wishes to Gina Henley as she embarks on this incredible experience and look forward to hearing about her run across America.  

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