- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: San Antonio, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Neuroscience
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey y'all! I'm Rachel Edberg. Originally born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, I moved to Texas at a young age with my parents and two brothers. My brothers are seriously the best and couldn't be any more different from each other. My older brother is a phenomenal musician, an artist, and a free spirit. My younger brother is aspiring to be an engineer, loves math and science, and is amazing at chess. Somehow we all fit together, and when we all are finally in one place, we're the goofiest group you've ever seen. They're the best brothers and my best friends! I also have two super supportive parents who have always encouraged my crazy ideas, hopes, and dreams. I couldn't be any more appreciative and grateful for them. I (quite literally) would be nowhere without them.
I ended up here at The University of Texas at Austin in 2014. I study neuroscience and business foundations. My hopes are to attend medical school after my ride year, and hopefully specialize in neurosurgery. Outside of studying until I'm at the brink of insanity, I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family, playing with my pup, running, dancing, and eating (guilty as charged).
Along with medicine, I'm also very passionate about mission work. My first ever mission trip was to Haiti in 2013 and it changed my life forever. I've continued to make an effort to return to Haiti, and my heart has never left even for a minute. Along with missions through my church, I also do medical missions through an organization at UT every year. It means so much to me to have such a supportive group of family and friends; I honestly would not be able to do any of this without all of you. I've been blessed beyond belief, and all I want is to be able to share these blessings across the country and around the world.
Why I Ride
Cancer was never a part of my life. I didn't personally know anyone who had it. It hadn't rooted itself into my family genes and spread into our lives, but something about Texas 4000 intrigued me. I am very interested in genetics and cancer research, and I loved the message Texas 4000 for Cancer stood for: hope, knowledge, and charity. Compelled, I applied on a whim. To my surprise, I was accepted. I was excited but unsure as to why I, someone who essentially wasn't connected with cancer, got into this organization.
Exactly one week later, I received a phone call. It was my grandma. I was walking my dog, and I'll never forget how perfect of a day it was. The sun was setting, so it glowed orange through the trees, and there was a cool breeze. "Remember I told you I was having some issues of my own?" she asked me, "Well the doctor found a lump before I came to visit, and they did a biopsy -" to be quite honest, I can't remember her exact words after this. I think my ears were ringing. "I have breast cancer." I remember those words, though. Loud and clear. I broke down crying, and the sun didn't seem to glow anymore. She reassured me she was going to be okay again and again, and I hate that I couldn't have pretended to be stronger in that moment. My entire family spent the next few weeks trying to wrap our heads around this. I consistently told myself not to worry; this was out of my control. But being the person that I am, I kept thinking there had to be something I could do. And suddenly, I remembered I was a part of Texas 4000... and after a week of wondering why I got in, I realized it wasn't luck or coincidence; it was meant to be. And I CAN do something about this.
So that being said, I ride for my grandma. I ride for her because even the toughest, healthiest people we know are affected by this disease -- and they shouldn't be. I ride because we don't have to sit back and watch cancer encroach upon so many of our lives or the lives of people we love -- we can act. But mostly, I ride for the hope that one day we can live in a world free of cancer, a world so many of us desperately dream of.