• Route: Smoky-mountains
  • Ride Year: 2021
  • Hometown: Plano, TX

About: Hi and welcome to my page! My name is Karen, I grew up in Plano, TX, and I'm a senior accounting major pursuing certificates in Pre-Health Professions (medical track) and the Business of Healthcare. I'm also a TA for Medical Microbiology and Immunology and a Research Assistant in the Preston Lab (come chat with me about microbes and/or memory!). When I’m not in class, the lab, or the library, I’m dancing or cooking! I love trying out new recipes (especially Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food) and dancing with my beloved friends in Korean Dance Crew and FSA Barkada.

In my free time I love engaging with the communities around me. Whether it's teaching science to middle and elementary school students, serving meals to the homeless, or filing free tax returns, I'm always striving to broaden my experiences and give back to the people who need it the most. And now, I’m looking to embark on the journey of a lifetime by giving back to the people who need it more than anyone else—cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones—through Texas 4000. Come be a part of this fight against cancer with me!

Why I Ride

I ride for my mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s a strange feeling, processing the reality that your own mother could be gone so soon. You start counting all the things that you’re thankful for, and you start appreciating the fact that you’ve had two healthy parents for so long. Many aren’t so lucky, but I am. Her cancer was detected early on, and her treatment was minimally invasive. She’s a survivor, and I’m so proud of her and grateful for the wonderful physicians and systems we have in place that have allowed her to stay in my life. Through my healthcare management class, I’ve become painfully aware of the abundance of opportunities available to my family—both of my parents are employed and have health insurance through their employers, and we’re well off enough that we’re able to cover for whatever insurance doesn’t. I’m also aware of the other benefits of being upper middle class; for example, there’s an established culture of going to annual check-ups and getting screened for pre-cancerous growths (because we can afford them). There are large areas of the United States that don’t have access to these opportunities because, for them, healthcare is cost-prohibitive, there are no systems in place that encourage pre-cancer screenings, and people are unaware of lifestyle habits that can severely impact their risk for cancer.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. In our fight against cancer, we shouldn’t either. Instead, we should push even harder in our fight for equitable healthcare opportunities for everyone across the US, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or any other demographic factor.

Thus, I ride for opportunity, because opportunity is what allowed me to still have a mother, and opportunity is what I want to give to those who don’t have it yet. Through Texas 4000, I want to educate those who haven’t had the opportunity to learn about cancer-preventing lifestyle changes. Through Texas 4000, I want the opportunity to learn about people’s experiences so that I can design and one day implement better solutions to America’s healthcare system. Through Texas 4000, I want to give the opportunity of high-quality care to everyone that needs it, regardless of their ability to pay. If my mom was blessed with these opportunities, shouldn’t every mother, father, and child deserve these same opportunities too?

I also ride to spread HOPE and impart KNOWLEDGE to communities hit hardest by cancer. Through Texas 4000, my teammates and I will touch the lives of people in over 200 communities across the United States. Our mission is to arm communities with the knowledge they need to prevent cancer and to give those who are battling cancer the hope they need to continue their fight.

Lastly, I ride for CHARITY, because it is financial support that has helped create the advancements in medical research and technology that allow me to still have a mom, and it is through your generous giving that we can spread our story and mission across the United States. Every dollar you give will go towards our mission of spreading hope, knowledge, and charity across the United States to support those who have been affected by cancer. My personal goal is to raise $4500: 1 dollar for every mile I bike. Please donate whatever you can to help me along my journey to Alaska!

We are never alone in this fight against cancer. I would love to hear your story about how cancer has affected you or someone you know. Every week, we take a moment to dedicate our journey to someone new who has impacted us in some way, big or small. Please share your story with me or let me know who else I can ride for at

To Alaska and Back with Love,
Karen Liu