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

About: Thank you for venturing to my page! My name is Kathryn Navarette and as of May 2020, I am a graduate from The University of Texas at Austin and The McCombs School of Business. I’m a true Texas girl, born and raised in McKinney, now working in software consulting in Austin. I am a lover of music, a huge foodie and not a lover, but a doer of running.

Why I Ride

I ride always to honor both of my grandfathers, Joseph Navarette and James Caldwell. My Papa, Joseph Navarette, lost his fight to Pancreatic cancer on July 15th, 2005. I carry with me his humor, his love for others and his passion for capturing beautiful moments through photography and writing – though my chosen form of writing is journaling where his was poetry, how I wish I had such a talent.

My Grandpa, James Caldwell, passed from Leukemia on February 27th, 2017. He gave me his sarcasm, a love for the outdoors and adventure, and somewhat of a hard head, which I believe could be a strength and weakness for both of us. His passing taught me a lot about these traits we shared in common and how I wish when we had been together, we could have been more vulnerable with each other. I take this lesson forward with me and remind myself daily that pride and stubbornness prevent us from knowing the most special and true parts of one another, and that sharing our insecurities only allows us to love each other more intentionally.

My grandfathers were my reason for joining Texas 4000; so I could honor their legacy and spread into the world the best traits and lessons they have taught me – going this summer by my bike, who is named JJ.

Since joining Texas 4000 over two years ago, however, my reasons for riding have grown. I ride now for my parents, my family, my friends, my teammates, for education, for health, for equality, and for the hope that one day we might live in a world where cancer doesn’t touch every person in some way.

I ride for my parents, Mike and Shari Navarette, who are the greatest supporters I could ever ask for; who have pushed me in this journey and told me quitting wasn’t an option even when I wanted it to be. The two people who fielded my anger and disappointment when our 2020 summer ride was cancelled and have been incredible encouragers in my coming back to join the 2021 team. Two people who have lost their fathers to cancer but have turned their passing into a beautiful example of strength, love and commitment to family. I would be nowhere without them! S/O Mom and Dad you two are my greatest gift.

I ride for my grandmothers, Mercedes Navarette and Margaret Caldwell, who are my best examples of strength and perseverance. They’re really my icons as independent badass women and I want to be like them when I grow up. They encourage me as a woman, as someone in the workforce, as an individual who shouldn’t accept less than what I deserve and they just amaze me in all ways. My Grandma, Peggy Caldwell, is also a breast cancer survivor.

I ride for my friends and my teammates, especially my 2020 teammates. I am eternally grateful that I joined Texas 4000’s 2020 team. That opportunity has brought me to some of the most amazing people and allowed me to see what a gift my friends outside Texas 4000 are. All of them have carried me through these last two years, helping me to understand empathy and encouragement and showing me many other qualities I aspire to have one day. I ride for all of them and for all of the people they ride for or may not get the chance to ride for.

I ride for education and health and equality. More apparent than ever are these three things which are not distributed to all of us the same in this world. Over the last year especially, I have come to see just how disproportionate some peoples opportunities and resources are from others. It pains me to know that in our current day and age, so many people will lose their fight to cancer due to late-stage diagnosis because of a lack of access to healthcare, because the cost of treatment is too high, because they were not able to recognize the warning signs or symptoms, or because they do not have a good foundation of education in health. I truly believe that education is the answer to so many problems and am hopeful that through Texas 4000, among other ways, I can help to share education and spread awareness in cancer prevention and health.

Lastly, I ride for everyone who has contributed to my experience in Texas 4000; for anyone who has shared their connection to cancer with me, who has encouraged me and my team in our efforts, who has donated through me and helped me reach my fundraising goals, and all of the people I have yet to meet who are helping make the ride possible.