- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Kingwood, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Biochemistry
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I’m Lyndsey! I am a junior Biochemistry and Pre-med major at UT Austin. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas by two awesome parents, Bryan and Danette Sandow. I have two younger sisters, Lauren who is at UT with me and Jordan who is a junior in high school. We also have two dogs, Ginger and Bingo who without a doubt are my parents favorite “children”. There is never a dull moment in my family whether it’s my mom cooking giant meals while jamming to Kenny G or my dad re-arranging his garden gnomes into imaginative scenes; something silly and fun is always happening. My family is super supportive and I am extremely grateful for their unwavering encouragement in all my endeavors.
In the seventh grade, I tore my ACL for the first time and got knee surgery. Since then I have been through 5 more knee surgeries. While these experiences were tough, they really taught me to appreciate being active and staying fit (I got some pretty cool scars too). That experience deepened my love for running, hiking, and other outdoor activities. I also love to travel and eat. One of my favorite things about going somewhere new is getting to try new food. I think that’s one of the reasons I love Austin so much, all the unique and tasty food! My time at UT has been the greatest three years. Everyone is extremely passionate and hardworking and I am so excited to work along some of the most driven people I know for a cause so deep in each of our hearts!
Why I Ride
I have always known that cancer is a very common disease. I know people who have been affected by cancer and seen what their families go through. Growing up when my mother would tell me someone had cancer I knew it was very bad but I had never experienced it personally and was not able to truly empathize and understand the severity of that statement. My grandmother was diagnosed with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The news was devastating and in that moment I think I began to see cancer in another light. It turned into a tangible evil that was attacking my grandma. My idea of cancer changed from a disease of the body to an actual entity that was fighting to take her life and it ignited something inside of me.
After the diagnosis, my family spent a lot of time at the hospital visiting with her and enjoying each other’s company. As we would walk around the hospital, I noticed many other families out doing the same thing. Despite the cancer, everyone seemed to be in good sprits laughing and chatting happily. Cancer is a terrible disease; however, there is something unifying about it. Cancer affects everyone in some way and in that we are all unified. We are unified in the fight and we are also unified in the defeat. Texas 4000 is a perfect example of the way in which cancer unifies and mobilizes organizations to fight. Everyone who joins does it because they have been affected by cancer or seen the destruction caused by cancer or are simply passionate it. Cancer unifies people against a common evil, and that unification will be its demise.
I want to ride in 2017 to spread love, support, and life-saving information about cancer. I also want to ride in honor of my grandma’s life. She was the strongest person I know as she has dealt with many obstacles in her life, three of which were cancer. Despite all she has been through, she is not bitter but kind and generous. I want to honor her life in a way that reflects how she lived her life: for other people. She was a physical therapist during the polio epidemic, my grandfather’s caretaker, a hospital volunteer and many other roles. I think she embodies Texas 4000’s mission of hope, charity and knowledge and just as she has shared those things with me, I want to share them with others.