• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2019
  • Hometown: Dallas, TX

About: Hello, hi!! :) First of all, thank you for taking the time to read about me, why I ride, and this amazing organization!

My name is Areeba Khwaja and I’m a senior Biology major and Spanish minor here at UT. I immigrated to the United States from Aligarh, India when I was 4 years old and found myself in the Windy City aka Chicago! After five years of living in the cold, my family decided to give Texas a shot and we moved to Dallas where I’ve lived since then.

I’m blessed to come from a wonderfully large family filled with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins all over the world, but my parents are my biggest supporters, my biggest inspiration, and they have shaped me into the person I am today. I also have a wonderful older brother, Raamis, who is currently in medical school.

In addition to my involvement with Texas 4000, I’m a volunteer in the UHS Sports Medicine Clinic, a Writing TA for Genetics Lab, a Science & Tech reporter for The Daily Texan, and a member of the Health Science Scholars program.

I enjoy anything with mangoes, chocolate cake, being adventurous, a day at the beach, travelling, writing, drawing, spending time with family & friends, and basketball.

I’m incredibly excited and humbled to be a part of the 2019 Texas 4000 team, and I hope to continue serving my community in my post-graduation endeavors as well. And lastly, I absolutely love meeting new people so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to meet up (my email is listed right above)!

Why I Ride

Everyday, I am blessed to wake up with my health. Unfortunately, I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am. When I was younger, my mom would frequently echo the age-old adage: Health is wealth. I’ve only recently come to understand the depth of that statement and how fortunate I am to live my life as a healthy person.

Every Texas 4000 event, ride, and meeting starts with something we call ‘ride dedications.’ This is a time allotted to remembering people who have been affected by cancer in any way and honoring their story and memory. Our central mission is to always keep the cancer community in our thoughts- to always remember why we ride.

My personal experiences with cancer have largely been shaped by what I saw my cousin go through when she fought against an aggressive bone cancer. Witnessing her relentlessly fight the disease, but ultimately lose the battle had a profound impact on me. The pain from that experience will never go away; however, I hope to use her memory for something beautiful instead.

She is a large part of why I joined this organization, but I ride to celebrate the resilience of everyone that has been touched by cancer. The three pillars of Texas 4000 are hope, knowledge, and charity. I resonate with hope the most. What pushed me to apply for this organization more than anything else was the hope for a breakthrough in cancer treatment. One day, when I am a healthcare professional, I hope that I can tell my patients that there are real, concrete solutions to the disease they battle every day. I know that it will take lots of time; however, I truly believe that funding research grants and cancer support services can create tangible, lasting change for the cancer community.

The Constitution of the World Health Organization states that:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of all people.”

Through Texas 4000, I hope to fulfill the latter by playing any small role I can in the fight against cancer. For our family members and friends, our children and grandparents, those who or alone or those who have left someone behind, we must change the narrative. And I cannot think of a better way to change it than by biking across the continent educating communities about cancer prevention, spreading hope in moments of uncertainty, and fundraising for research grants with this organization. As always, if there is anyone you would like me to ride for, please don’t hesitate to reach out- I am always humbled by the opportunity to learn more about this cause and what I can do for it!