- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Wichita Falls, Tx
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Human Development and Family Sciences
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey there! My name is Amber Palmer. I am a third year from Wichita Falls, Tx. I play the clarinet, love to paint, and sing in a worship band!
I love just about anything that is pasta, bread and ice cream, Blue Bell of course!
My favorite color is blue and you are sure to find almost anything I own in some shade of blue.
I am majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences, which is housed in natural sciences and is something like a cross between social work and psychology. After my bachelors I want to get a master's in social work. I don't know where, and what field I want to go into yet, but I do know that it will be working with youth!
The Boys and Girls Club is an organization that has a special place in my heart! I grew up in one back home where the staff really took an interest in me and helped me get to where I am today. Ever since going there, I have always had a desire to give back to the community and help others the best that I can. What better way to do that than to spread Knowledge about Cancer, Hope to those affected by it and by being a part of this Charity all along the way. My journey has barely started, and it has changed me so much already. I can not wait to see where I end up by the time I arrive in Anchorage next summer!
Why I Ride
There are multiple people and reasons Why I Ride.
First, I ride for anyone who has lost a parent to cancer. Although I have been fortunate to not lose a very close family member to cancer as of now, I did lose my dad to suicide when I was 12 years old. I know what it's like to lose a parent at an age when you don't understand what is going on around you and I miss my dad everyday.
Next, I ride for Cara Herr Sauceda, her mother Deb Devorak, and their family. Cara was a mentor of mine growing up and as I've grown older, she has become like a sister to me. She has helped me through some of the toughest moments of my life. Through that time, she was the first person I watched shave her head for St.Baldricks, and who introduced me into the fight against cancer at a young age. I also watched her go through the loss of her newly connected biological father, David Herr, to liver cancer. Then 5 months later she lost her dad, the man who loved her, raised her, and loved her mom Deb unconditionally to anal cancer.
Next, I ride for a boy named Lorenzo Boyd. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 4 years old. Had to go through brain surgery and by a miracle when into remission. Until he was 9 years old, this was when I knew him, and he relapsed. I was faced with the idea of losing a friend, at such a young age,to cancer. Our Boys and Girls Club put together a charity basketball tournament to raise money for his treatments. He had to have another brain surgery, and 5 months of Chemo. By another miracle, Lorenzo is in remission, and has been since. Today he is 16 years old, and striving to do the best.
Next, is my friend Alyssa Dunbar's mom, Diane Dunbar, who is also a cancer survivor today. He daughter showed me kindness my freshman year of college and I feel as though that love she learned from her mom. Diane is growing a full head of hair back and is learning to love life, supporting Alyssa while she is in law school in DC, and is showing cancer who's the boss!
Next, is Sharon Vanbebber. Who is the sister of my grandmother. She is the closest to family that I have watched, and remember going through cancer. I was still pretty young, and didn't quite understand everything. I watched her go through getting a double mastectomy, lose all of her hair and try so hard to beat her stage 4 Breast cancer that eventually took over her whole body. She was a fighter, and she brought so much joy to my family. The hardest part was watching my grandma have to grieve over losing her best friend, and sister, to cancer.
Next, I ride for the mother of a close friend of mine, Abraham Flores. His mom battled Breast Cancer, and is currently living a cancer free life. My friend, Abe describes the time when he was told his mom had cancer as one of the worst days of his life. And so I not only ride for his mom, the survivor, but I ride for my friend and his family who were there to support her through treatment.
Last for now, is a woman named Veronique Faust. Or as I called her in school, Madame Faust. Madame Faust was my high school french teacher for 4 years. Not only did she teach me french, but she taught me how to be a good and decent human being. I watched her council and take in other students who otherwise may have had no one to love them and show them a good path. During my senior year she was out of school to get a hysterectomy, and came back to tell us that during that procedure, they could not continue because they saw, in her words, "cancer everywhere". The good news was that the doctors said it was on the outside of her organs and had a high success rate. She started treatment almost immediately. This for her was relapse from a 4 year battle with breast cancer. She took it like a champ. Every other week she would be gone from class to get treatments on Thursday, recuperate over the weekend,and be back on Monday to teach. She lost her hair, but have no fear, she was one stylish lady. She was from Avignon, France. She carried her French style with pride. She bought some wigs and switched up her style from the long black hair I remember her having. She would have good days and she would have some bad days. But overall, she always kept a good spirit. In February she was supposed to go to the doctor for her last check up and last treatment. They should be telling her that she was done and cancer free. She came back saying she wasn't quite done but its still looking up. Shortly after that she got really sick. She wanted so desperately to come to school and teach. Honestly, we so desperately wanted her to come and teach us too. We had a long term sub to come and watch the class while she got better. We all hoped for her. We all prayed for her. Then one day we were all called into the library. I hoped it was to tell us she was getting better, or maybe it was to tell us she wouldn't be back for the rest of the school year because she was ok, but needed time to get better. Instead, it was what we all feared. That morning, she died in her home, with her family surrounding her. The rest of the day was a dark day in the halls of Hirschi High School. The school paid tribute to her. We had a balloon release in her name and almost everyone attended her memorial. Veronique Faust was a woman that made you want to be a better person and she is the reason I ride at all.