- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Corpus Christi
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Communication Studies
- Email: [email protected]
My name is Elizabeth Webster. Welcome to my page! A little bit about me: I'm a senior here at UT, with a major in Political Communication and a minor in Iberian and Latin American Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, which is really just a fancy way to say "Spanish." My hometown is Corpus Christi, so it is no surprise that one of my favorite places to be is the beach. When I'm home I love to spend time with my family and friends, whether it be fishing with my dad, paddle boarding with my mom, or just catching up with friends! I am so excited to be a part of this team and this great cause. Keep reading to find out why I joined Texas 4000!
Why I Ride
The fight against cancer resonates with me because I have experienced what it is like to be the person in the fight. Although I am fortunate enough to have not faced my own battle with cancer, I have experienced and understood the fear and uncertainty that people are faced with in the wake of a diagnosis. When I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as an eleven-year-old, my life was turned upside down. I went from being a normal, healthy kid to a fragile, bed-ridden pediatrics patient in the span of three weeks. For the next year and a half, my time would be split between doctors appointments, hospital visits, and the occasional return to school while trying to get my disease under control. Shortly after I was diagnosed, my uncle Scott made the decision to run the New York Marathon in an effort to raise money for ulcerative colitis research. He ran the entire race wearing a bib that read, “26.2 for Lizzie Lou” (my childhood nickname). Afterward, he gave me his medal and bib from the race. I have kept both with me ever since as reminders of what I have overcome. When I first heard about Texas 4000 as a sophomore in college, I was immediately reminded of my Uncle Scott, and his support for my family and me when I was sick. His determination to help in my fight has inspired me to do what I can to help others who have been affected by disease, because I have witnessed the positive impact that even one person can make in that fight. I was inspired by my uncle to join in the effort to fight cancer, but have been inspired to continue fighting and spreading awareness for the fight by a few special people throughout the course of my life; some who have lost their battle, and others who are still fighting.
First, I will ride for my Grandma, who lost her battle to lung cancer in 2013. She has been such an important role model for me, and even in the midst of her fight, was the embodiment of grace and selflessness in the face of adversity. I will also be riding in memory of my Uncle Joel, Mrs. Simank and Mr. Bonner, all of whom are very special people to me and to my family. They have all impacted my life and the lives of loved ones in so many ways. I want to ride in honor of the legacy each of them left behind, and in hope that the awareness brought about from their lost battles will only bring us closer to finding a cure. I will also ride for those who are still in the fight, like Mr. Mendez, my best friend Carolina’s father who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Like my Uncle Scott running the New York Marathon, I want to be an example to those who are fighting of what they can overcome and that they are greater than the confines of their disease.
Texas 4000 is an organization that has grown very near and dear to my heart because it has provided me with the opportunity to serve a cause so much greater than myself. As I have taken the time to reflect on the impact this disease can have, I have realized that cancer is a stranger to no one. It is a disease that finds its way into the life of every individual at some point or another.
As a member of Texas 4000, I will ride for the fighters, like my Grandma, Uncle Joel, Mrs. Simank, Mr. Bonner, and Mr. Mendez. I will ride for the doctors, like my dad, who dedicate their lives to helping and healing the fighters. Lastly, I will ride for the stories that need to be told, to raise awareness for cancer research in hopes of winning the war and finding the cure. These people, friends, family, and strangers, are the people who have made me who I am today, and the people who inspire me to continue to strive for a better version of myself everyday.
Thanks for reading about why I ride! Any donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to email me if there is anyone I can dedicate a ride to.
To Alaska and Back,