- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: San Antonio, TX
- School Year: Sophomore
- Major: Public Health
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hola! I'm Val, a student at THE University of Texas at Austin! Originally from Laredo, TX, home for me is in the wonderful San Antonio, TX where I can say I did most of my growing up. I am majoring in Public Heath and minoring in Journalism, where I hope to use these degrees to make a change in people’s lives and communities and attend medical school one day. I believe I get my passion for helping others from my mother and sturdy work ethic from my father, two strong qualities I was blessed with and have played a role in my accomplishments throughout my life. Family is everything to me and I all I do is not just for me but for them as well! Wouldn’t be where I am without their love and support.
Although I have many plans for the future, who knows where I will actually end up in life. But something I do know is that wherever I may be, I know it will be something that involves change. A change for the better and improving the lives of those in need. I truly believe that is my purpose in life and I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of this organization that will help me achieve that purpose.
Why I Ride
My first experience with cancer was with my Grandma Hilda, an incredible, bold woman that lost her fight to colon cancer in 2007. I remember her being such a strong person who has been through so many hardships in life yet spread lots of smiles and love within her family, especially her grandkids. I was pretty young at the time of her passing and didn’t really understand what she went through. All I knew was she had cancer and that is something people don’t really survive through. However, I think what had the greatest impact on me was the way cancer affects anybody around it. The damage cancer has on a family is something I believe is almost as breaking as the cancer on the actual person itself. It holds the power of tearing so much hope in people which is something I want to fight and spread in families that desperately need it. I ride for the broken families. I ride for my Grandma Hilda.
I also ride for my other grandparents, my Abuelo Tonio, my Abuela Chela (whom I called Tita Chela) and my Buelo Jose Luis. Although their passing wasn’t due to cancer, they are still individuals that have had an impact on my life. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet my Buelo Tonio and my Tita Chela passed when I was only 5 years old, so my memories of her aren’t something I can vividly grasp. But the stories I hear of them by my family make me wish I had so much more time with them, especially during big moments like my high school graduation or family birthday parties. My Buelo Jose Luis on the other hand was indeed present for many great moments in my family’s life until last year. His passing was extremely difficult for my family and I could definitely say you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. The hardship of losing a loved one is a pain nobody should face, especially when you know deep inside they left too soon. One of the pillars of Texas 4000 is knowledge, something I hope to strongly gain and spread in order to make families more aware of their health and to avoid preventable health issues as much as possible.
Last but not least, I ride for my mother. She’s the definition of an individual who constantly puts others before herself. Something she always told me growing up was “Todo tiene su tiempo,” everything has its time. These are words I live by each day, words that remind me to always be gracious for the moments present in front of me and make the best of the time that I have, especially when there are people who don’t hold that opportunity. I believe my time to reach out and contribute to something bigger than my ambitions has arrived. I hope to spread knowledge, hope and charity, the three pillars of Texas 4000. I’m dedicating myself to the 2018 ride to Alaska, riding for those fighting the fight, riding for those who are in need of faith in humanity, riding for people who struggle in life and need hope, and riding for those who put their heart and soul into others for their greater good, like my mother. This rewarding experience is something I will accomplish. Not for me, but for you. I ride for you.