- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2022
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: International Relations and Global Studies and Sociology
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello friends! My name is Campbell Currah, and I am from Austin, Texas. I am a second-year international relations and global studies and sociology student with minors in English and French. On-campus I have been involved in many organizations including Student Government, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, University Panhellenic Council, Deeds Not Words, and Students Expanding Austin Literacy. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I hope to be doing something fun somewhere fun!
I’m so excited to begin my Texas 4000 journey, and I thank you for taking the time to learn more about Texas 4000 and for supporting the fight against cancer!
Why I Ride
People have always been curious about my name. Where does it come from? Is it my first name? How did my parents decide on that name? They are always a little disappointed when I explain to them that I am not an heir to the Campbell’s soup fortune, or that my parents didn’t just have a fascination with Andy Warhol. Instead, I stand up tall and proudly explain the two women responsible for my name.
One of those women is my Granny, born Annette Campbell, who has been valiantly fighting breast cancer for as long as I can remember. Because I never knew her without cancer, I had built up an immunity to its impacts. This was in large part due to the way my Granny refused to let it dictate who she was or how she lived her life. Her cancer does not define her and it never will.
But, when the storm rolled in and the lightning struck, I felt like I had been shocked into recognition of the terrors of what having cancer meant. A few months before I graduated high school, a tumor was found in my Granny’s brain. It was the first time I had really been afraid of her cancer. It was like the monster in my closet whose growls I had been ignoring had finally emerged ready to tear apart my family.
But yet again, it was no match for my Granny. I remember my Grampa, her husband, talking to my mom after the tumor diagnosis and telling her he wasn’t worried because, as he so aptly put it, no matter what life throws at her she will outlive him. I’ve come to understand how right he is. Giving in to her cancer has never been an option for my Granny. It is of her own will that she will not let the disease turn her into something she is not. The thing I admire most about her fight is that she is not just fighting for herself, but for her family. She will endure so that she can be there for the people she loves; to see me and my brothers grow up, to make her chocolate chip cookies for our future families. She beats her cancer for us, for her husband, for her children, and for her own future.
She has taught me what it means to be a strong woman. To love affectionately and limitlessly. To fight for a place in this world. To live with humble gratitude for the wonders and joys of this life. She is a wonder of a woman, and I am honored to share her name. I hope that I have and will do it justice.
The other woman who helped name me is my mother’s grandmother, Camilla Campbell, whom I never did meet, but has made my Oma into the woman she is. A woman who has supported and cared for my Opa throughout his experience with cancer. A few years back we found out that his prostate cancer had come back and metastasized, and I was terrified. I didn’t want to watch another person I love to be forced to endure the pain that cancer effectuates.
But he is still the same old Opa. He still tells the greatest stories. He still sneezes absurdly loud. He still laughs at all of his own jokes. He still loves his wife and his three daughters with all the passion in the world. The Opa who watched his mother survive breast cancer and lost his father to brain cancer much too young and still remains steadfast in his commitment to living a life full of love and laughter. His imperishable joy is contagious and nothing will ever take that from him or his family. Not even cancer.
I ride for my Granny. I ride for my Opa. I ride for my mother who had to sit down with her young children and explain to them what cancer was and what it could mean for their grandmother and again years later for their grandfather. I ride for my father who has remained strong despite his own fears. I ride for my Grampa and my Oma who have watched their spouses endure so much pain and have stuck by them through it all. I ride for Jenny, Renee, and Roxana, my three incredible aunts, who have all shown immense bravery in the face of insurmountable hardship. I ride for my two brothers who are probably the only people capable of truly understanding my feelings about cancer’s effect on our family. I ride for all the healthcare workers helping to fight cancer every day. I ride for every person who was thinking of those at greater risk of the effects of COVID-19, like my Granny and my Opa, and stayed inside, wore a mask, and socially distanced for more than a year despite what it meant they were losing.
You have all done a very hard thing and I commend you. I ride for you all.
To Alaska and back,