- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2016
- Hometown: Kingsville, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Biochemistry
- Email: email@example.com
I am from Kingsville, Texas, a “ruralish” town in South Texas. I say “ruralish” because where else have you heard of a 4-H kid selling three of their livestock show chickens for $6,000? I get some pretty hilarious faces when I tell people that. I have a wonderful family consisting of my father, mother and two younger sisters. They never fail to make me laugh and always succeed at motivating me to do my best. I am proud to say that my parents brought us up in the Catholic faith and have instilled the value of using our God given gifts to make the world a better place. They have also instilled an obsession with enchiladas, fajita tacos and homemade guacamole, keeping us in touch with our Hispanic heritage.
I am pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a Business Foundations Certificate in the hopes of attending medical school when I graduate. My current interest is Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, but of course it could change and I am excited to see where I end up. Being a pre-med student does not mean I am confined to the library or office hours. I enjoy kicking the soccer ball around with friends or playing an intramural basketball game. My Tuesday nights are spent teaching ESL classes to adults at St. Albert the Great Parish, and my Saturdays are spent cheering on the Longhorn football team at DKR Stadium. I can also be found on an early morning run at Lady Bird Lake or exploring Austin’s many food trucks.
Why I Ride
My father has always been and will always continue to be my best friend. I have always seen him as a man with no fear, who knows how to do just about everything and will figure it out if he doesn’t. He has taught me to succeed under pressure, never let anything or anyone stop me from achieving my goals and most importantly, put my faith in God when I am faced with doubt. So yes, I kind of see my dad as this ideal person to strive to be, a sort of invincible man.
However, the summer before my seventh grade I quickly learned that he was not invincible. The image of him collapsed in my home will always stay in my mind. He was rushed to the hospital, and we were told a significant loss of blood from a tumor in his intestine was the cause. He was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, more commonly known as GIST. It was an extremely rare form of cancer, that even warranted serious interest from the Mayo Clinic up in Rochester, Minnesota. Luckily, the doctors caught the cancer in time, and an operation was carried out to remove the tumor. I am unbelievably happy to say that he has been cancer free for six years.
Unfortunately, not all cancer stories end on a good note. My grandmother passed away from a long and gruesome fight with breast cancer. She had been complaining of back pains for about two years when we finally persuaded her to go to a doctor. They informed us that the cancer had spread to her spine and that there was nothing they could do. I watched as the disease consumed her in the following months, leaving me to wonder what could have been. My grandmother was never a loud or demanding person. She lived a simple life and enjoyed her time with her grandchildren. She never complained or argued, and she always had a smile on. Even in the days leading to her passing, she still found the strength to give me a hug and call me her “little Genarito”. I miss her every day.
So that is why I ride. I ride in honor of my dad and all those lucky enough to get a second chance with their families and at life. I also ride in memory of my grandma and all those who have lost someone dear to them.