Profile

  • Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2017
  • Hometown: Arlington, TX

About: I very recently decided to start bowling without the bumper walls up and to pick my bowling ball by color instead of weight. I've also realized that the blueberry pie I just baked tastes better when I share it with my dog or my neighbors or my friends or my family or the fly that keeps landing on it. It feels brighter outside when the curtain isn't in front of my window and even brighter when my window is open and the sunlight pours in. I've realized that the reason little pieces of fuzz get stuck in between my toes after I wear really fuzzy socks is because my feet like wearing warm socks, especially if they're the socks with little rubbery pads on the bottom of them to prevent you from slipping. I've been leaving little crumbs of bread around the house just in case a hungry mouse stops by. So far every rock I've seen this week has become my pet rock. Sometimes when I sit on the grass I begin to fidget and pull up tufts of grass with my hands, and I'm beginning to think that the pulled up grass must grow legs or wings or both and then fly away, but I'm not sure yet where it flies off to. Maybe the creaky step on the staircase is trying to tell me something but I can't understand it. I used to do jigsaw puzzles by myself but then I decided to do them with my friends and I still like it better with them even though we always have a missing puzzle piece, because none of me feels missing.

Why I Ride

My cousin Lorray was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 6 years ago. After 6 long years of unfaltering courage, wisdom and hope, she passed away. During this long battle, Lorray had never failed to be cheerful. It amazes me how someone can be so strong in the face of cancer. I'd always imagined cancer to be a big, scary monster with spikes all over its back, or maybe a giant bowling ball that wants to run you over and squish you. She didn't see it this way though. At the end, when asked if she was scared or frightened, she said "Not at all." Stuart Scott once said "When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." Although she may be gone, I ride to continue Lorray's battle against cancer and to someday find a cure.

The airplane landed in Tegucigalpa and the entire cabin began clapping and cheering. Apparently, Toncontín International Airport in Honduras is one of the world’s most dangerous airports to land a plane. Good thing I didn’t know this until after the plane landed, safe and sound. This landing was the start of my week in Honduras serving with Global Medical Brigades. Through GMB, 50 students were able to travel to two rural communities and treat over 1,000 people at our clinics. While I was there, I saw a completely different world. These people live in complete poverty. Each house can have eight or more people living in it, but have only two rooms and three beds. The bed frames don’t have mattresses, just piles of dirty clothes to lie on. Dirty clothes are piled up against the walls. Old toothbrushes are sticking out of holes in the bedroom walls. The women stay home to cook and clean while their husbands work long hours each day. Their living conditions lead to two very big problems: lung cancer and skin cancer. Each house fills with smoke from the fire burning inside the main room. The women spend hours on end in this room, cooking for their families, with no ventilation for the smoke to exit the room. Swirls of smoke ghosts dance into their lungs. Skin cancer is also very prevalent in these communities. Men will be out in their fields all day, with the burning sun blistering on their backs. Many of the patients that we encountered showed signs of skin cancer, but they were too poor and too far away from a hospital to receive any help. I ride for all of the people who will never be able to receive treatment for their cancer.

I ride for the mothers who have lost sons and the brothers who have lost sisters. I ride for the grandmothers who made your favorite cookies and the grandfathers full of eternal love. I ride for everyone who has lost a loved one too soon. I fight for those currently fighting, and for those who have ended their fight. I ride for all who cannot.