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4K for Cancer: Former CCHS standout Hannah Ruegner closing in on fundraising goal

Hannah and her dad, Peter Ruegner, in 2013 during the week he was diagnosed with cancer. Photo submitted.

Hannah Ruegner has a name that is easily recognizable in the history books of Colleton County Athletics. A highly touted member of the Colleton County High School cross country and track and field team, Ruegner earned All-Region honors and qualified to compete in both Lower State and State AAAA competition during her career. After graduating from Colleton County in 2010, Hannah spent a short period of time on The Citadel Cross Country team, before transferring to the College of Charleston. This past December, she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a bachelor of science in public health and a minor in biology.

But now, Hannah Ruegner needs you to know her name for a different, but vitally important, reason.

On June 12, Ruegner will make her way across the country to San Francisco. Two days later, she will begin what may be the greatest run of her life as she endeavors to embark on a 4,000 mile run, spread across 49 days, which will take her from San Francisco to Baltimore.

Why would she want to do such a thing? Ruegner, along with other college-age students, will be participating in the 4K for Cancer: Team Baltimore 2015. But for Ruegner, her reasons are much deeper and meaningful. Losing her father in December of 2013 to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the liver, her journey is both a celebration of his life and a quest to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund, which supports raising cancer awareness.

This 49 day journey, with 10 rest days spaced out, will begin underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Ruegner and her teammates will find comfort along the way with various hosts, who will provide the group with a safe place to rest. “These hosts consist of churches, families, and organizations that will allow us to have a meal, help us with laundry, and introduce us to their community,” explained Ruegner. “The rest days are in the same town as the day before, so those hosts will show us around and let us do service events in the community. All of our meals are donated throughout the trip.”

Not surprising, Ruegner applied for a leadership position during the 49 day cross-country trip. “I applied to be a leg leader for the trip and secure hosts and food for all of the runners,” she admitted. “I was given the responsibility of securing a place for us to stay in five towns throughout Nevada and Utah. So far, I’ve secured a few confirmations and I am contacting other possible hosts daily. It is pretty weird calling people I have never met and asking for their help. But, it is incredible to hear their responses to what I am doing this summer and their willingness to help is astonishing. I find their generosity amazing and I am so grateful to have support from everyone. It is my goal to spread cancer awareness, however I can, even through these people to share among their friends and families.

She also applied to take part in the Scholarship Committee and Jersey Committee for her team. “So far, I was accepted for the Jersey Committee and have been brainstorming designs,” said Ruegner. “I am still waiting to hear if I was accepted as a member of the Scholarship Committee, which helps choose recipients for the Ulman Cancer Fund Scholarship. I know, first hand, how it feels to be affected by cancer while in college.”

Ruegner, who needed $4500 dollars to embark on her journey, is getting close. She has raised $3810 so far, some of which has come from our community. “I am so happy that I have raised this much and am so grateful for donations,” said Ruegner. “I would love to raise $6000 dollars, because for every dollar donated, 89 cents goes to the Ulman Cancer Fund and 11 cents goes toward helping the teams get across the country. The Ulman Cancer Fund helps cancer patients in a variety of ways, from getting to treatments and appointments to funding scholarships and providing care items.

Hannah Ruegner’s hometown connection is legendary in itself as she is the granddaughter of the late (2009) iconic Mrs. Virginia vonLehe, a teacher who impacted numerous lives with her love and knowledge of the English language. Hannah’s mother is Victoria vonLehe Mundell, who lives in Walterboro and works at Colleton Regional Hospital. Surely, Hannah’s strength of character is rooted deeply and it comes as no surprise that she would undertake such a project of love.

If you would like to lend your support to Ruegner’s life-changing summer cross-country run, for a cause near and dear to her heart, please visit her profile link at http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/hannah-ruegner/ or you may donate by check: 4K for Cancer, 921 E Fort Ave, Ste 325 Baltimore, MD 21230. Please include your email address and Hannah Ruegner’s name.

 

Cindy Crosby (369 Posts)