About Me

Profile

  • Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Overland Park, KS

About: Hey y'all! My name is Jackie and I hail from a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. I came to UT Austin to study Neuroscience, and am deeply involved in my Honors program, Polymathic Scholars, through which I designed a minor titled, "Food Culture in America." My thesis in this field will focus on U.S. food policy and racial disparities in nutrition. I work on the Texas Sprouts research team, which installs community gardens in elementary schools around Austin, provides cooking and nutrition lessons to the students and their parents, and measures longterm metabolic and dietary changes. After my ride, I hope to pursue the field of public health either via medical school or through the lens of the food system. Even though it's cheesy, I identify with Einstein when he said, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." In my free time, I cook/bake yummy things, eat anywhere and everywhere around Austin, draw/paint/collage, scavenge for new music, bike, practice yoga, and snuggle with my three beautiful cats: Yams, Pancake, and Felix.

Why I Ride

My grandmother, Glenna, died of a 10-year battle with breast cancer after it metastasized to her brain. Patrick, her husband and my grandpa, has had parts of his bladder, lungs, and skin removed for various cancers, and has undergone radiation for prostate cancer. And my mother, their daughter, has experienced basal cell carcinoma. When I was about 8 years old, the Ouija board predicted I would die of breast cancer, and I believed it. I ride for these loved ones and innumerable others. I ride to spread hope and squash the misconception that cancer will never be cured. I ride for the people who don't have a voice, who are underrepresented in cancer research, who can't speak for themselves, and who are preoccupied fighting every minute of every day just to survive a little bit longer. I ride to raise awareness and spread knowledge, to broaden and diversify cancer research, and to do my part in identifying upstream social/environmental determinants that predict who is at risk for the disease before their first cancerous cell even divides.