- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2020
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Neuroscience
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About: Hello! My name is Shreya and I am a third year Neuroscience major and government minor from Austin, TX. After I graduate, I hope to attend medical school and help my community in whatever capacity I can. In my free time, I enjoy baking macarons, going on long hikes, and binge-watching the West Wing. I've lived in Austin my entire life, so the summer of 2020 will be the longest I've been away from home, which is incredibly exciting. Thank you so much for visiting my page!
Why I Ride
I vaguely remember my Grandmother before she had cancer. Her own husband passed away when my father and his brother were young, and she never remarried. She used to stay with us for long stretches of time when I was a baby. I am laughing in all of our photos and videos together. I remember a few moments from that time, but the time in between is lost. In my next memory of her, and all of the ones that come after that, she is really, really sick. It's jarring how quickly cancer appears. My grandmother passed away when I was in the third grade.
Two years later, my mom sat us down to tell us about a lump in her breast. "This is normal" I thought, "this is inevitable". In retrospect, these are not normal thoughts for an eleven-year-old to have. I remember that she fought patiently, diligently, and now she is a ten-year breast cancer survivor.
I have always felt like I've had an intimate connection with cancer. I feel like I know it really well. There are so many people in my life that have fought the disease that I can't shake the word "inevitable". I ride because I want to change that.
I ride because cancer changed the way I viewed the human body. It changed the way I interacted with my friends and what I value in a relationship and how I trust others. It showed me that it’s easy to forget pain after it’s gone, and while that can be a good thing, it can be dangerous. Stories should be told because they make everyone stronger. Sometimes pain needs to be remembered because of everything else that comes with it -- squeezing four people into a bed, holding onto one another, forehead kisses, unconditional love. I want to ride for other people’s stories. To learn their names and remember that while my mom is healthy now, someone else’s is not. I want to ride to become a better person, and someday, a better doctor.