College Student Bikes Across America to Honor Late Boyfriend with Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma (SNUC)
July 13, 2014
When Katie Gundlach’s boyfriend Ryan Donaghey died suddenly from a rare form of nasal cancer at the age of 21, she felt like her world had been flipped upside down.
After experiencing chronic nosebleeds, Donaghey was diagnosed with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) in the summer of 2011. SNUC, an extremely rare cancer of the sinuses that arises in the nasal cavity, is often diagnosed late and has a poor prognosis.
Despite undergoing two surgeries, two rounds of chemotherapy, and three rounds of radiation treatment, he passed away unexpectedly in March 2013 – just before finishing his final round of radiation treatment.
“It was shocking that someone so vibrant, so young, and so seemingly healthy could be diagnosed with such a terrible disease so suddenly,” Gundlach, a 22-year-old student at the University of Maryland College Park, told FoxNews.com.
For Gundlach, her boyfriend’s loss hit her hard. She spent the rest of the semester at school unable to focus or sleep, and she longed for a chance to reflect on what had happened, honor her boyfriend, and do something that really mattered.
That opportunity came when her mother introduced her to the 4K for Cancer Ride Across America program, a 4,000-mile bike ride across the United States. She was immediately drawn to the idea of the trip.
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