- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Coppell, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Neuroscience
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi friends! My name is Rachel and I am a 4th year Neuroscience major with a minor in Health Communication. I am pre-med and planning to go to medical school after I take a gap year to work and travel the world! Fun fact: I have been voted "Most Likely to Cure Cancer" three times in my life, so I must be on to something here. My favorite author is Donald Miller - his books about living a good life story are part of the reason that got me here in the first place. I'll quote him in pretty much every blog I ever write.
Why I Ride
I have wanted to fight cancer since I was ten years old, when a long-time family friend and second dad to me, Brent Heaton, died from cancer. I didn’t even know what cancer was when he got sick, but I vividly remember how I felt when writing him a Get Well Soon card. With hot, angry tears streaming down my face, I scribbled these words in big, clumsy letters on the back: “I will find a cure for cancer one day. I’m positive.”
Now here I am, a 4th-year pre-med student with plans of becoming a pediatric oncologist. I have grown and learned so much more about cancer since I wrote that card. While I know now that I am likely not going to personally find a cure, Texas 4000 is as close as I can be right now to directly impact those who ARE on the front lines, who ARE finding the life-saving treatments and medications, working towards an eventual cure.
“I ride for…” is how we start every Texas 4000 meeting. My teammates hold heartbreaking stories of loss, inspiring accounts of victory, and bittersweet updates of perseverance. I ride for too many people to include here (cancer’s indiscriminate reach is unacceptable) but the main reason I applied was my grandmother Annette. When I applied for T4K, she had been diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer. She lost her fight two days after my birthday this past February, yet she still got me a birthday card like always. Inside it was $50, which I decided to be my first official donation to honor her memory. Her selflessness, independence, and immense love for her family inspired me to act, and continues to do so every day.
I am biking for those who cannot, and for those who live daily with the possibility that they may not be able to do so tomorrow. Please let my know if there is anyone you'd like me to ride for as well - I would be honored to carry their story with me to Alaska.
Lastly, here is my hope for you, reader, in the form of my favorite quote by Donald Miller.
“It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be.
So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification.
And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?”