• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2022
  • Hometown: Katy, TX

About: Hello! My name is Katia, and I am a third-year Chemical Engineering student at The University of Texas at Austin. My parents immigrated from St. Petersburg, Russia to the U.S. where I grew up in the small town of Houma, Louisiana. So to sum it up I’m basically a Texan Ragin’ Cajun Russian.

Why I Ride

The holiday season and Christmas morning reminds us of that warmest feeling of love, happiness, and family. For me, one Christmas day I spent my morning sitting in MD Anderson snacking on my mother’s food as she was healing from invasive surgeries and medication for her breast cancer treatment. I reflected on my mom’s resolute courage to drive over 16 hours back and forth from Louisiana, where she took care of my brother and I, to Houston to get chemotherapy. Today, I feel inexplicable gratitude that my mother had access to treatment that piloted her to become cancer-free. Despite cancer’s debilitating claw marks onto our lives, I realize that on that day, Santa did not leave me giftless. Cancer attempts to rip away our spirit, passion, and vigor from us but we can join together to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

How will a bike ride across the North American continent, from Texas to Alaska, contribute to the fight against cancer? Well how else do we confront one of life’s most daunting perils? We prove that we are stronger. That we are resistant. No matter the losses, the failures, the fears, that we will continually push and fight for a world where cancer no longer has its power. Having that eternal flame and passing it on to others is victory. Your contribution to the Texas 4000 cause, even the $5 usually used to buy a coffee, is a way that we can navigate our world today to dedicate time, people, and resources to achieve breakthroughs in cancer research and support people in their most vulnerable time of need.