• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2021
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL

About: Hello! I'm Chris, and I'm a fourth-year Biology and English student here at UT. I'm originally from Chicago, where my two amazing parents and three rowdy siblings live (shoutout to Nick, Natalie, and Alex). I'm a member of Texas Gymnastics, and if you spend enough time around me you might witness a spontaneous backflip every now and then. I love hiking, fishing, photography, and spending time outdoors. Texas 4000 has given me an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, and I plan to attend medical school after UT to continue in the fight. Thank you for your support! Hook 'em.

2021 UPDATE: I'm currently a first-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago working remotely while training to complete Texas 4000. Hope is alive and I'm thrilled to continue forging forward in pursuit of Anchorage!

Why I Ride

In 2018, I had the chance to visit my family in Poland, where I learned that my Grandma had recently beat melanoma, and my Grandpa was currently fighting prostate cancer. Although we don’t see each other often, I was stunned to find out that they had been battling for the past three years, without me knowing. We had talked on the phone and written letters frequently since I’d last seen them, but the topic of their cancer had never come up. The fact that they had been suffering for all that time without me knowing shattered me. It was after continuing to speak with my grandparents that I learned that cancer can be a lonely disease. No one can feel your pain with you, no one can quite understand how chemotherapy ravages your body, nobody can fully appreciate the mountain of questions that looms over a cancer patient's head. Sometimes it can feel like no one in the world can understand living the set of circumstances you've been dealt, and having to battle cancer alone is an experience that many people must brave every single day. Having this opportunity now to help even one person through their pain, to inspire hope within them, is an opportunity I would be remiss in turning away. I ride to help shoulder the burden of at least one person’s cancer story and to help lay the foundation to end this disease.

I ride for my 2020 teammates. When COVID-19 hit, riders were faced with very difficult decisions to make and many were unable to defer their training to continue riding with Texas 4000 in 2021. The 2020 team has changed me in ways that I can't describe, and I am dedicating my ride this summer to the tenacity and passion of my teammates, and the stories of their families and loved ones that kept us peddling through our darkest days.

Most of all, I ride for hope. Not everyone has what it takes to be a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher. No twenty-year-old has the resources or the time to be mounting a full-fledged battle against cancer; it's just not realistic. It can be easy to believe that cancer can't be beaten and that the most rational way forward is to let someone else figure it out. That's where Texas 4000 flips the narrative. Alone, it can be tricky to make a substantial difference, but when eighty college kids all put their heads together to accomplish one goal, suddenly there is hope. Texas 4000 is projected to surpass ten million dollars in funds raised for the fight against cancer with the 2020 team. Together, we're no longer a group of twenty-something-year-olds doing something crazy. We're a team of able-bodied, driven individuals all united in the fight to end cancer. I ride for a world in which hope is an inextricable component of any cancer diagnosis. I ride for hope, and I ride for a cure.