- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Katy, TX
- School Year: Sophomore
- Major: Physics & Astronomy
- Email: email@example.com
Hi, everyone! I see that you've stumbled upon my page somehow; whatever that reason may be, welcome.
I'm a Physics and Astronomy double major (and a Philosophy minor) at the University of Texas at Austin, the same institution that presented me with this amazing opportunity.
If you know me, you know that I love and care for my family dearly. I've discovered that my parents and my brother parallel the three pillars of Texas 4000: Hope, Knowledge, and Charity. Each of them has taught me about one of these pillars throughout my lifetime, and that's why I believe that I'm truly prepared to take on this challenge.
As many of you already know, I live to help others - it's what I do best, honestly. Earning a spot on the 2018 Texas 4000 team has truly been so humbling, and I'm beyond excited to see where this journey takes me.
Why I Ride
The first rule of becoming the most powerful super-villain is that you must be remorseless, sly, and durable. Or, at least, that’s what I learned from the comic books I used to read as a kid. Twenty-two pages full of suspense, betrayal, and ultimate defeat provided me with the appropriate adrenaline rush to satisfy my naive and otherwise boring life. That is, until the most powerful super-villain entered my life to attack those whom I love dearest.
Cancer never seems real until it hits those closest to us. Here are are some of my loved ones that have been affected by this super-villain of a sickness:
Aan (Jocelyn Herbert) -
Aan was my best friend’s aunt but she may as well have been mine too. She loved to gossip and take pictures; it was almost as if she was one of us. Our number one fan, Aan, never missed any of our dance performances and she was always the first one to tell us how beautiful we looked on stage. A dedicated nurse, mother, wife, and friend, she was something very very special. When Aan was diagnosed with terminal cancer, it was a feeling like no other. No comic book could have prepared me for that very moment. But Aan didn’t let cancer stop her. She fought harder than anyone I’d ever seen. She always took care of everyone before herself. Even after being diagnosed, Aan continued to work at the hospital and tend to her patients. Cancer couldn’t touch her. She was a superhero. Defeating all odds, she survived passed the five months she was given to live. But as she got weaker, I realized that even superheroes need help sometimes. The day I signed up for recruitment for Texas 4000, beautiful Aan passed away. I don’t think it could have been a clearer sign for me to join the team.
Kaushik Mesho (Kaushik Nag)-
Kaushik Mesho is practically my second dad. He’s seen me grow from an annoying tween all the way to a slightly less annoying adult. Kaushik Mesho is the living form of a teddy bear - always radiating happiness and gives the best hugs! We have a family friend group (friends for 10+ years and going strong!) that always has the best time together and takes the craziest trips together. From Enchanted Rock to Port Lavaca, we’ve had some amazing times together. But it was our most recent trip to Page, Arizona that shook things up. Mesho wasn’t feeling well so he went to the doctor while on the trip and found out he had problems with his prostate; we were under the impression it was an infection of sorts. However, some time passed and we found out it was cancer. I don’t know if I’ve been more terrified in my life because I wasn’t ready to lose someone so close to me, someone who’d seen me grow up to be the woman he’d always say I’d become. Scared and helpless, I went through everyday keeping Mesho and his family in mind. Thankfully, it didn’t get the best of him. He’s okay and is doing so well, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. He’s fighting other everyday villains like trying to find solutions for the water issue in Flint and ensuring all Michiganders, irrespective of their background, have protection from environmental and health hazards. More than anything, I’m glad he’s going to be able to see me grow even more - especially after this experience.
Subrata Mesho (Subrata Dasgupta)-
Subrata Mesho was the liveliest person to step foot in our temple. He spread joy and love for Maa Durga and always made sure everyone was taken care of. During Puja time, you could see him volunteering around the temple and helping with serving food. Mesho was also the father of one of my closest friends, Debarshee (aka Tukai). The debt I felt I owed to Mesho for giving me the best older brother I could have ever wished for was unreal. He always used to come hug me and kiss my head and ask how I was as if he was my own uncle. He was an angel on earth from the very start. A few months after his beautiful wife, Mahua Mashi, passed away from a stroke, he and Tukai went to get checked to make sure they were healthy. However, the doctors found stage one cancer in his lungs. But it was just stage one! We were all convinced that everything would be okay; he came to Durga Puja just a few months after being diagnosed and still spread that same joy and love in which we all found warm solace. It seemed like no time at all had passed when I got a text from my mother, ten days before Thanksgiving, saying he didn’t win his fight. I called Tukai, and I scream-cried into the phone when he confirmed that his father lost his cape and exchanged it for wings.
I want to be able to ride for them and to make sure that cancer doesn’t get the best of more of our superheroes. In order to do that, though, we need the help of everyday heroes like you and me. With a team effort, the fight against cancer can be won eventually, and I strongly believe that this organization recognizes its role as a catalyst of this revolutionary breakthrough. I want to be able to ride for those who have lost as well as those who have to continue living feeling the darkest effects cancer can have on an individual.
Cancer may be the most powerful super-villain, but at the end of my twenty-two-page journey – passing all of the suspense from hospital waiting rooms and staff and exceeding the betrayal felt by our own bodies – I know I will have made an impact and gotten one step closer to the ultimate defeat of cancer.
Other people I ride for:
My best friends
The people who suffer from mental illness
Yog Raj Anand
Marc's Grandmother, Flora