- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Edinburg, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Genetics and Genomics
- Email: [email protected]
My name is Delisa, I'm from Edinburg, TX, and I’m a senior pursuing a degree in Genetics and Genomics and a certificate in Statistical Modeling. I come from the two most incredible parents I know, Dale and Deborah, and have the best younger sisters anyone could ever ask for, Deandra and Denise. You can usually find me, a latte in hand, in some of the more aesthetic buildings on campus trying to study; the prettier the building, the more likely I’ll be there.
Why I Ride
Every fight against cancer is not done unaided. It takes the strength of the patient, the courage of surrounding loved ones, the dedication of oncologists, the will of scientists, and the support of the community...
In high school, I wasn’t just a clarinet in the band, I lived and breathed band; the band hall was my second home and the band directors were my second family. My director’s name was Mr. T. And I ride for him.
Music wasn’t just a hobby for Mr. T, it was a way of life that he instilled in all of his clarinets from the moment we met him on the first day of summer band camp my sophomore year. He built us into a family, and we grew together throughout the years from marching rehearsals, to clarinet choir practices. He was there through it all; the typical audition nerves, the glorious high school drama, the tears of success and failure. I never really got a chance to say goodbye; cancer snatched his life away within what seemed like the blink of an eye. So, Mr. T, thank you for an incredible three years of beautiful memories, endless chromatic warm-ups, and never giving up on me. This one’s for you.
Tia Tommie was an avid reader, a talented seamstress, a skilled gardener, but, most importantly, she was a constant in my life. Every Wednesday after school, at 3 pm sharp, there would be a grey Honda Accord waiting at the very front of the endless line of cars for me to get out of school, even though I didn’t get out until 4. Twice a month, my sisters and I would go and “sleepover,” at her house. Although, as most sleepovers go, there was no sleeping. We would play endless rounds of Loteria (she would always win) and watch Home on the Range on loop. My Tia Tommie was the constant in my life. I never needed to call her to pick me up because I knew she was already there. I could always find her watering her rose bushes in the backyard or engrossed in a Danielle Steel novel. I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t there for my yearly awards ceremony or a band concert. She was there for my Kindergarten graduation and I know, she would have been there for my High School one too. As I grew older, the sleepovers stopped and eventually, I began to drive myself to and from school. However, her love never ceased. The doctors thought it was anemia, but she never got better. Back and forth from hospitals and hospices, I witnessed the person who served as my rock my entire life beginning to chip away. I watched her tirelessly fight through treatment after treatment as the cancer showed no mercy on her. She may not be able to serve as a physical constant anymore, but her love and warmth will continue to serve as a mental one.
If there is anyone who I can ride for, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to hear your story! 956-369-0338
To Alaska and back,