- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Plano, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Electrical Engineering; Physics
- Email: [email protected]
Hello! I am Rithvik Ramesh, an undergraduate studying Electrical Engineering and Physics as part of the Engineering Honors and Dean’s Scholars programs. I greatly enjoy working on microelectronics research as a combination of my interests in EE and physics.
Apart from academics and research, I am actively involved in many organizations here at UT. For the past two years, I have been part of the leadership of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) student branch at UT. I am also part of the Distinguished Lecture Series Council, a group that invites esteemed professors from across the country to give large-scale public lectures at UT Austin.
In my free time, I enjoy exploring Austin on foot and by bike. I also love to explore National Parks and the great outdoors by hiking, kayaking, SCUBA diving, biking, and more. Lastly, I am learning to play the bamboo flute in the Carnatic style.
Please reach out to me at [email protected]
Why I Ride
When I was in middle school, my grandmother was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Because the cancer occurs in the brain, it is not possible to surgically remove completely. Thus, a complete cure of glioblastoma is generally not possible and treatment can only slow the progression of the cancer. As a middle schooler, I did not fully comprehend that my grandmother’s chance of recovery was very low. Looking back, I do not have a clear memory of how I felt while my grandmother was fighting the cancer. However, I clearly remember that in my last conversation with her over the phone, she could not focus on the fact that her grandson was speaking to her. Rather, she was commenting on the coconut trees in her backyard.
Though my grandmother’s battle and eventual passing from brain cancer was tough for my family, I can clearly see how strong my relatives were during that time. My grandfather had great strength to seek out and provide all the best care for my grandmother while clearly feeling the pain of an ailing loved one. My parents traveled many times to India to help my grandparents while managing my questions and confusion about cancer back at home. To this day, I am amazed that they were able to convey the effects of the disease to me in such a manner that I would not be frightened.
Now, I have an appreciation for the effect cancer has on all of our lives. Cancer is a disease that has no boundaries and can impact anyone in the world. However, I also see that, as a society, we have grown stronger through our global fight against cancer. I am greatly motivated by how people of all backgrounds put aside their differences and come together to fight cancer. I have decided to bike from Austin to Alaska because I want to play my part in this global effort. In the process, I aim to raise awareness and funds toward cancer research, spread knowledge about cancer prevention and support services, and give hope to all those who have been impacted by cancer. Please join me as we fight cancer together!
To Alaska and Back,