About Me


  • Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2016
  • Hometown: Coppell, TX

About: My name is Geetika Rao and I was born in Bangalore, India. For the first few years of my life, I moved around a lot – shuffling from Bangalore to Pune, India to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, back to Pune and then to Chennai, India. I moved to the United States in December of 2002, first living in New Jersey, then Seattle, Washington, finally moving to Coppell, Texas in July of 2005. For the first 10 years of my life, I attended 11 different schools. I had to constantly learn how to adapt to a different place, make new friends, and this experience has shaped into who I am today, making me thankful for the diversity and opportunities that life has presented me.

Texas has now become my home, and I am lucky to be in a state and at a university that allows me to explore my passions. My love for helping people and curiosity for science has pushed me towards medicine and public health. At UT, I have become involved in cancer research at the Dell Pediatric Research Institute. We do both lab and clinical studies, and the stories we hear are so uniquely terrifying but also extremely inspirational. I’ve developed my love for service through TexasTHON, GirlAdvocates!, and work at the LiveSTRONG Foundation.

My experiences and involvement have led me to where I am today. I have always been passionate about fighting cancer, but learning more about what it actually is, and hearing how it affects people everywhere, has truly inspired me to do whatever I can to help end it – whether this be through research, as a healthcare provider, or as a rider on the 2016 Texas 4000 team.

Why I Ride

I have been very fortunate in my 20 years to not have been personally affected by cancer, but I know too many friends and colleagues that have. I ride for all of them and their loved ones. I also ride for my teammates and all of their stories. I ride for this university, as I hope to represent them well along this journey. I ride for my friends, who have been nothing but supportive, and make me who I am today. I also ride for my family, without whom I would not be able to take on such a task. My parents are my biggest supporters, allowing me to chase my dreams, no matter how crazy they might be and my younger brother is my best friend, who teaches me to live life to the fullest, and be myself.

But, I also ride for myself. During these next 18 months, I hope to not only enrich the lives of those around me, and spread hope, knowledge, and charity around the country, but I also hope to challenge myself, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Lastly and most importantly, I ride for YOU. I hope to ride for your loved ones, those you've lost and those who are still fighting courageously. Together, we can beat this evil disease.

To learn more about me and to share your story, please visit http://geetikarao.wix.com/texas4000