- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2020
- Hometown: Kingwood, Texas
- School Year: Senior
- Major: International Relations & Global Studies
- Email: [email protected]
If we haven't met, my name is Madeline and I am currently a senior International Relations & Global Studies major, with a minor in Business. I am from Kingwood, Texas, but have lived in Baton Rouge, Akron, Katy, and Brussels, Belgium. I have 2 younger siblings, Marissa and Andrew, who I adore, and a dog named Luther, who I adore 99% of the time. And of course, I adore my parents (die-hard aggies) who are my #1 supporters, despite my dad's refusal to hook 'em.
I hope to attend law school after I graduate next May. Outside of T4K, I am also a member of Kappa Delta and Liberal Arts Honors.
And, on June 1st 2020, I'll be beginning a 70 day bike ride from Austin, TX to Anchorage, Alaska!
Why I Ride
I ride for my Nana.
During my freshman year of high school, my Nana passed away, at the age of 64, after an intense 5 year battle with melanoma. She battled with grace, positivity, and poise. Not once would she ever complain, which she would have been more than justified in doing. Instead, she constantly put the needs of others before her own, by offering to help around the house or ask about my day. She was the most genuine, selfless woman I had ever known. Everyone who met her would attest to this, as it was immediately apparent that her heart overflowed with kindness. She moved in with us in Houston during her last few months to be closer to MD Anderson, leaving behind her home in Tyler. Losing her was one of the hardest moments of my life, but I am so grateful for those last months I got to spend with her. I have been searching for a way to honor her, to remind everyone of her spirit of determination.
Every day of the ride, I will be motivated by her strength and the adversity she faced. Her memory and story deserve to be shared, as well as anyone else who has had to endure the battle. Texas 4000 is truly special in that it offers a platform for this awareness.
I ride for my great-grandpa, Eugene Stick, Gigi-Pa, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990, a year after quitting smoking (a habit picked up during his time in the Army in World War II). The doctors said that had he not quit, the treatments and complications would have been significantly worse. He passed away in 2007, due to respiratory complications associated with his lung cancer. I ride to honor his memory, as a kind, strong role model.
I ride for my great-grandma, Kathryn Strong Clark, "Mimi", a UT class of 1937 graduate, who overcame her battle with breast cancer in her early 50's. She passed away at 89 years old from Alzheimer's disease. I ride to remember her resilience.
I ride for my great-grandpa, Edgar Clark, "Daddy-Ed," who lived to be 89 after a battle with prostate cancer. As one of the smartest men I knew, I ride to honor his memory.
I ride for my ride for my great-grandma, Mabel Vestring, who passed away in 2012 after battling breast cancer. Her death was followed shortly after by her daughter, my Nana. The next year my great-uncle and Nana's brother, Tim Vestring, lost his tough battle against bladder cancer. They all shared a genuine spirit of kindness. It was really tough for one family to deal with all of these losses in such a short time. I ride to honor their courageous spirit.
Cancer is infiltrating. It infiltrates our society, our families, and our livelihoods. Despite the overwhelming amount of people that suffer from cancer, the battle can still be extremely lonely. Cancer patients can be lost, overwhelmed, and hopeless. To combat this infiltration, it is crucial that we come together to fight. This begins by making each individual feel supported and encouraged and to ensure that each cancer patient and survivor knows that they are not fighting alone. By taking concrete steps towards a cure and raising awareness of prevention and treatment options, we can ensure that future generations can be more equipped to fight this terrible disease.
I would love to honor anyone who has been impacted by cancer, and share their stories. Please feel free to email me with ride dedications at [email protected]!