• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2020
  • Hometown: Houston, TX

About: Hi, and thank you for taking a look at my rider profile! My name is Bowen Song, though some know me as Bween, and I am a junior on the pre-medical track at the University of Texas majoring in Honors Biology with a certificate in Logic and Philosophy. I hope to one day practice as an oncologist and work to develop better treatments for late-stage cancer patients that extend beyond hospice care.

Born and raised in Houston, I am an avid Rockets fan. Or anything Houston sports, really. I grew up with two loving parents, and we really mean everything to each other. The rest of my family currently lives in Kunming, China and because of that, I greatly cherish any time that we can get everyone together. In my free time, I love running, playing the violin, cooking and watching TV shows.

On campus, I am a staunch advocate for men’s mental health and have plans to work with the Counseling and Mental Health Center here at UT to start a movement of recognition and change of the many stigmas surrounding men’s mental health. Besides my involvement there, I find my home away from home with my teammates who ride with me on the Texas Cycling Team. You can read more about Why I Ride for Texas 4000 in the section down below. Thanks again for visiting!

Currently training for: Austin Marathon (2/16/2020)
Currently listening to: Ein Heldenleben
Currently shoving down my face: Reverse-seared pork chops
Currently addicted to: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Why I Ride

Family is so important to me. We don't really get to spend much time together, but maybe because of that, it hurts all that much more when something terrible befalls a family member. I was in 5th grade when I had my first real experience with cancer. It was a Wednesday night when my aunt called and interrupted from a deep slumber, I immediately knew that something wrong; we never get calls from China in the middle of the night. My grandma was diagnosed with terminal small cell lung cancer. It had already progressed to the point of no return, and there wasn’t much we could do but hold on to each other as we watched my grandma turn to face the inevitable afterlife. Losing her hit us hard, but in spite of everything, my grandma never lost her hope. For that reason, hope is something I'll always hold close to my heart.

As soon as I could, I got involved in volunteer work at my local hospital; from the summer of my 9th grade year until I graduated high school I worked with the staff at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In this position, I learned so much about what life as a cancer patient was like for both the patient and affected family members. In my patients, I saw pain and struggle, but crucially, I also saw hope and love. Hope that the doctors knew what they were doing. Hope that their God might spare them from the disease. Hope that even if they had to go, their family would still be loved and be saved from the grief of losing a loved one. Being exposed to all of these raw emotions, while difficult, only served to reinforce my hope to be a part of the solution.

Coming to college, I knew for certain that I was going to dedicate myself to fighting this disease. After seeing my grandma and my patients at the hospital struggle, I made it my personal goal to make cancer a thing of the past. Enter Texas 4000. Texas 4000 reminds me of my grandma and her bubbly presence. Texas 4000 reminds me of the many patients I saw while working at MD Anderson and their ongoing fight with cancer. And most importantly, Texas 4000 reminds me to never, ever let go of hope.
I ride for those who feel hopeless. I ride for those I have already met along this beautiful journey. And finally, I ride so that those I will meet may also be equipped to share in the brightness of hope.

These days, there's also another reason why I ride.
I’m both willing and able: so, why not?

Together we are united and stronger in the fight against cancer.

To Alaska and back,

Ride Dedications:
Linda Charlton
Bailey Sikorski
Roger Mendoza
Anne Sandal