- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Katy, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Plan II and Finance
- Email: [email protected]
Hello and welcome! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and why I ride.
I’m a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying Plan II Honors and Finance. In the five years I have lived in America, I have dived deep into politics, advocacy, and public service. I relish the opportunity to bring people together to do big things and pursue bold ideas. At UT Austin, I started Design for America, a club that aims to use human-centered design to create social impact on campus and in the local community. After graduation, I aim to enter the corporate world and gain experience in the private sector. Ultimately, I wish to use this experience to play a role in shaping American foreign policy to further human rights, democracy, and sustainability around the world. I also enjoy good guacamole, bollywood music, and well-produced podcasts.
As somebody who has grown up around the world, I am proud to claim India, Singapore, England, and now Texas as my home. My worldview has been shaped by a true diversity of experiences, perspectives, and peoples. But this immense privilege, in my view, entails inherent responsibility. Through Texas 4000, I aim to create a positive impact in the fight against cancer and give back to this community the best I can.
Cancer does not discriminate. If there is anyone you know that I can ride for, please reach out to me! I’d love to hear your story. My email is [email protected]
Why I Ride
I ride because it’s a big, crazy, difficult thing to do for an infinitely bigger, crazier, and more difficult disease. I ride for my friends’ relatives, I ride for my grandfather, and most importantly, I ride for my mother.
When I first learned that my mom had breast cancer, I found immediate solace in the fact that there were effective treatments available and that we had a clear opportunity to prevent the cancer from spreading. All it required was a simple operation. As I immersed myself in my freshman year of college, I ignored the extent of my mom’s condition. And I soon find out that the operation was simply the tip of the iceberg. From juggling frequent trips for radiation therapy with everyday life, the following months of recovery were difficult for her. But my absence from home gave me blissful ignorance. I knew my mom would be up and running soon. I knew she would recover. It was only a matter of time.
Two years later, the cancer came back. This time, the surgery would be more complex and more daunting. The recovery would be longer, and pain would be greater. But my mom was prepared, and so was her family. I wanted to ensure that I gave her all the support she needed and remained with her every step of the way. The kind of mental and physical fortitude she showed following her surgery, and the strength she shows even today, was remarkable to say the least. A common feature of mastectomies is that they impair movement of your arm and cause immense pain during recovery. My mom is finishing up her year’s worth of physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, and medication ahead of her. Her spirit of endurance and persistence propels my ride to Alaska.
I also ride for my dad. He has had a number of people in his life- from his father to his wife to his childhood best friend- go through cancer. Some haven’t been fortunate enough to survive. In every instance, he has been a pillar of unyielding support, encouragement, and positivity. Both times when my mom was recovering from cancer, he shouldered the responsibility of running a household, working a demanding job, taking care of the kids, and most importantly, taking care of my mom. His Herculean effort is a reminder that cancer does not have a singular effect. It disrupts everyday life and has far-reaching effects that are difficult to anticipate. I ride for everyone whose life has been turned upside down due to a loved one’s cancer.
Despite all of this, I recognize that my family is fortunate and privileged. Throughout my mom’s ordeal with cancer, we were buttressed by a strong community around us that provided quiet, reliable support. From giving my younger brother rides to school to cooking entire meals for us, they were the silent heroes that helped us get through a difficult time. But not every cancer patient’s family is as fortunate. My mom could get the rest and recovery she needed because she was not encumbered with household chores and important, yet menial tasks. I ride for all those who deserved to have the same community around them in such difficult times but weren’t as fortunate.
If there is anyone you would like me to ride for, please let me know. Fundraising for Texas 4000 is important, necessary, and profoundly consequential. But the stories I bring with me to Alaska would be infinitely more valuable.