- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Winter Park, FL
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Biology and Anthropology
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! I’m Selby! I'm a third-year student, and I study biology and anthropology here on the Forty Acres. I hope to do meaningful research after college and someday be a professor who feeds the science-hungry minds of the future. I love cherry tomatoes, the molecular clock, and improv comedy.
I have six siblings, three of which are human. The other three are four-legged and covered in fur. Two of them purr. One fetches. All are my best friends.
Though I miss my family dearly, my relocation to Austin to attend UT and feed my inner science geek has been the greatest decision I’ve ever made. This place is magical. When I arrived in Austin a year and a half ago, I never imagined that I’d 1) occasionally eat queso for breakfast 2) cycle large amounts for fun 3) cycle to Alaska and be more excited about it than anything, and 4) that I’d do it for a very, very noble cause. I’ve learned so much here already and I cannot wait to learn even more during this Texas 4000 journey about being a leader, a teammate, cancer fighter, and, most importantly, a compassionate human being.
To Alaska, Infinity, and Beyond,
Why I Ride
I think that Texas 4000 personifies the hope that we all share for a cancer-free tomorrow, and being a physical, working part of that fight is an incredibly humbling experience. It’s an honor to fight for you fighters out there. You are why I ride.
My own fighter and reason to ride is Barbara Raines, my mom’s right-hand woman since the 80s and an invaluable role model to me and to my siblings. Barbara is the type of woman every little girl needs in her life; she is intelligent, adventurous, passionate, fun-loving, impossibly cool, and strong beyond belief. When Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was too young to fully understand what she was going through, but old enough to see the fear and pain her cancer caused. However, I was also able to see Barbara’s fierce courage and strength as she fought, and I was able to feel the gravity of the situation the day my family and I helped shave her head before she began treatment. She has been cancer free for ten years now and remains one of the most influential people in my life. She still teaches me what it means to fight like a girl, instills in me a thirst for knowledge, and gives me a run for my money when we play glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Her general existence inspires me every day. I ride for fighters like her.
I also ride to for knowledge and prevention. Growing up in the “Sunshine State,” I’ve seen what happens when we don’t protect our skin. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, and yet there are over 13 million new cases diagnosed every year. Many people in my family have had it and will be the first to tell you that you need to get your skin checked regularly (please). I know people under age 20 who have had pre-cancerous moles removed. I feel a responsibility to spread knowledge so that people are aware of how to protect themselves and of the implications if they don’t.
I ride for my family: my parents, who raised me with such a world-is-your-oyster attitude that opportunities like this have become a reality (thank you), and for my three younger siblings who are my world and who challenge me to be better every day.
I ride because cancer does not care if you are a parent, sibling, friend, neighbor, student, teacher, or doctor, as I have seen it affect someone in all of these categories. I cannot stand to see cancer hurt another person or be the reason somebody loses a loved one.
I ride because it’s time for us to give all we can to the effort to stop a disease that only takes away.
I ride so that with each turn of the bicycle wheel, we come closer to finding a cure.
I ride for you.