- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Katy, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Business – Management Information Systems
- Email: [email protected]
Hi, I’m Sauman, thanks for visiting my page!
I went to high school in Katy, Texas, but my awesome parents, Pat and Paul, blessed me and my sister Chelsea with the opportunity to grow up moving all over. I’ve lived in Canada, the Netherlands, Kuwait, China, and Texas, and can’t wait to see more of the world. My family means everything to me – for our many years moving around, my family was the only constant in my life, so by force of circumstance (circumstances that I’m very thankful for), we are all best friends.
Now, I’m a senior MIS major at the McCombs School of Business. At UT, I’ve been involved in Code Orange and Community Tax Centers. I also work part time for the University’s IT Services.
I love walking (yeah...literally just walking anywhere), hiking, skiing, being outdoors, and National Parks.
I love cooking, watching Netflix, going out with friends, and Trader Joe’s cheesecake.
Why I Ride
In February 2019, my mom found out she had precancerous cells in her body. Luckily, they were cleared and today she is healthy and well, thanks to the great medical staff at Memorial Hermann. But I remember exactly how terrified I was to lose her; how my mind jumped to conclusions, preparing for the worst; how I could barely talk to my sister, my best friend about it because saying the words out loud were too scary.
Through it all, my mom has always been the strongest in our family, which is no surprise because she always is. She never showed us how scared she was and instead, led us with faith and courage. I ride for my mom and her health, for modern medicine and early detection, and for her to never have to experience the cruelty of cancer in her own body. She is my role model and I want to ride my bike to Alaska for her and everyday of this wonderful life I get to spend with her.
My aunt Lai Yee has been battling nasopharyngeal cancer since her diagnosis in 1996, when she was only 34 years old, and is now luckily in remission. She lives in Hong Kong, as does most of my mom’s family, and was the aunt my sister and I spent the most time with growing up. For as long as I can remember, she has always taken care of me and my sister when we visit Hong Kong, taking us around the city, playing Monopoly with us, cooking us our favorite chicken wings, taking us shopping. She is kind and funny and the best. I didn’t know about her cancer until recently and I am so honored to ride for her. I ride for Lai Yee yi ma, my cousins, and her grandchildren.
Willy’s grandmother had stomach cancer. I’ve never met her but she already holds a special place in my heart; the way Willy talks and laughs about her, the photos of her that he shares with me were so special. This past summer, she reached critical condition and Willy flew out to Taiwan the next morning to spend time with her. When he called me at the airport, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to tell someone losing a loved one that it would be okay, or how to instill hope in someone dealing with something so unfair. I ride to learn how to be there for the ones I love and the ones they’ve lost.
Willy’s grandmother passed away on October 19, 2019, between the time I applied for Texas 4000 and the time I found out I had made the team. In my application, I wrote about wanting to ride for her, Willy’s family, and to learn how to better support my loved ones affected by cancer. Today, I ride for Willy's mom Stella, who is so sweet and so strong. I ride in grandma's memory, for the love she shared with her family, and the love her family continues to remember her with.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of your race, gender, or sexuality, cancer can affect us all. It doesn’t matter how kind, hard working, or giving you are, cancer doesn’t discriminate. But as people, we do. We have. In the history of healthcare, marginalized groups have repeatedly been turned away from treatment and support for no other reason than being underprivileged. I ride to bring hope and knowledge and charity to these communities. I ride because I believe in the fight for a cure and when we find that cure, I believe in every single person’s right to it.
I ride for my mom and aunt. I ride for Willy, his grandma, and his family. I ride for Annie, who inspired me to apply for Texas 4000, and her family. I ride for those who have been failed by the system and I ride for those who have no one else riding for them.
Finally, I ride for all my teammates, their loved ones, and everyone in your life who has been affected by cancer. If there is someone you would like me to ride for, please reach out to me. I’d be honored to hear their stories and carry them with me to Alaska.
And a growing list for those I ride for:
Lai Yee yi ma
Willy's grandmother, mom, and family
Michelle's grandmother and grandfather