- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Radio, Television & Film
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Katie, and I’m a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a degree in Radio, Television & Film. I was born & raised in Corpus Christi, Texas to my dear, sweet parents, Elizabeth and Robert. Upon my arrival home after being birthed, I was introduced to my older brother, Matt, who promptly threw a ball at my face, which pretty much set a precedent for how the next 21 years of my life would play out. Oh, but what a delightful 21 years they’ve been.
I live in a little yellow house with my four best friends, firmly believe movies have the power to change lives and feel pure euphoria every time I see a dog. My favorite font is Courier New and Death Cab for Cutie is the best band in the world. My middle name is Jane, after my paternal grandmother, and I love it.
Sincere thanks to you for taking the time to read my profile, and embarking on this wild ride with me!
Why I Ride
When I was 11, my dad rode his bike across the country because of cancer. His route stretched from Seattle, Washington to Nova Scotia, Canada, and his bike was a Yamaha 250 WR-X: a motorcycle. He set out on this trip with his two best friends, Terry and Charlie. Charlie is a civil engineer from Austin, and Terry is a retired adman who lives in Nova Scotia, a talented photographer, and the kind of man who names his dog “Uncle Lenny.” They all met on an online forum for motorcyclists, and their shared passion for motorcycles has been the glue that has kept their friendship strong, despite the distance between them.
In June 2007, Terry was diagnosed with bladder cancer and after a successful surgery, he was declared cancer-free. Two years later, in September of 2009, my dad, Charlie and Terry shipped their motorcycles to Seattle, and set off on a celebratory trip, which they lovingly dubbed “The Big Stupid.”
For years, The Big Stupid always just seemed like a cool road trip my dad took. He came home with hundreds of photos, my favorites of which were a photo of three sets of feet in the Pacific Ocean, and three sets of feet in the Atlantic Ocean. As I got older I began to understand the weight of The Big Stupid. It was a celebration, and it was healing, and my dad was there to support Terry in all of it. I never connected The Big Stupid to Texas 4000, until I told my dad about the organization and their mission. His response was “Well, I did that kind of!”
I ride for Terry and I ride for my dad and his unwavering friendship, the kind of friendship I want to provide for my teammates throughout this journey.
I also ride for knowledge and one of the most inspirational people I know, Connor Hughes. Connor biked the Sierra route in 2015, and in the Spring of 2016 he ran a successful public health campaign in conjugation with University Health Services. He enlisted my help in creating a series of videos to educate students on the Human papillomavirus (HPV) and encourage them to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated at UHS. Left untreated, some forms of HPV can lead to various forms of cancer, including cervical and oropharyngeal. Being a film major, I’m not terribly versed in the science of cancer, but Connor’s passion for preventive medicine was contagious. He proved to me that no matter where my talents may lie, I could do something to contribute to the fight against cancer.
Finally, while I will never be a doctor, their dedication to health and others is something I have always admired. I ride for doctors of all specialities, like my father the psychiatrist, and for those like Connor, who are studying medicine.