- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Frisco, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Neuroscience
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Revanth Poondla. I was born and raised in Plano, Texas, but I call Frisco, Texas home now. After graduation from Heritage High School in 2014, I came to the University of Texas where I am an honors student pursuing a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Sociology. I am also involved with research into neuromodulation and mental health.
In addition to being a student, I teach MCAT prep classes for The Princeton Review. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy cycling, yoga, and reading. You can find me cruising around Austin on my bicycle or moped almost every day!
Why I Ride
When I was in high school, I had a friend who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. My friend, Nishant, passed away after a year of courageously fighting cancer, leaving me utterly devastated. Another close friend of mine named Thomas was diagnosed with leukemia around the same time. Fortunately, he was in remission after a four month battle culminating with a bone marrow transplant. I am so grateful that he is still with us, but I can’t help but imagine what life would be like if both of my friends were still alive.
To me, the tragedy of cancer is that survival can sometimes feel like a random draw depending on who you are and what type of cancer you are diagnosed with. The disparity in outcomes between different cancers is one of the most heartbreaking issues with medicine. It is also what drove me to join Texas 4000. As a rider for Texas 4000, I will fundraise in order to help correct disparities in cancer treatments. Someday, I will continue to fight such discrepancies in patient outcomes as a doctor.
Before I first applied to Texas 4000, I was very apprehensive about joining because of the huge requirements for training and fundraising. Each rider has to raise $4500 at minimum. However, I thought about Nishant and what he would do. When I realized that I was debating the difficulty of training while others like Nishant may not have the option of even joining the group, I stopped ruminating and applied without any reservations. Although we have only just begun training and fundraising, I have deeply enjoyed being a part of this team. There are so many people I met while panhandling and volunteering who shared their experiences with cancer. There was one young man who lost his nephew to cancer that I still remember very vividly. As he briefly related the story to me, I could see the pain and sadness in his face. The most meaningful part of this experience so far has been hearing people’s stories about how they dealt with cancer and moved past their loss. After each person shares their story with me, I tell them, “We will ride for you and your family.” However brief our interactions, I feel that every time I ride my bike, I am carrying a part of them and their memory with me.