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

About: My name is Lyon Lee and I am a fourth-year Biomedical Engineering student at The University of Texas at Austin. I was born in South Korea but raised in Colleyville, TX. I will be attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai upon graduation thanks to the FlexMed Early Admission Program.

I have always been passionate about service, spirit, and leadership. I am currently part of the Texas Blazers, an honorary service organization, a director of the Student Engineering Council, Camp Texas Counselor, First-Year Interest Group Mentor, and just recently finished my three semesters as a HealthyHorns Peer Educator. In addition to my extracurriculars, I strive to be academically successful and have been fortunate enough to be involved in the cutting edge of biomedical engineering research.

In order to balance everything out, I love to go backpacking, paddleboarding, or anything to enjoy the outside air! For something a little calmer, I love to experiment with brewing coffee and cooking.

Why I Ride

I ride to spread awareness of the veterans and the many health issues and barriers they face returning to everyday life, especially those who have cancer.

A couple of years ago, I took care of a military doctor veteran suffering from brain cancer at an assisted living facility. During that year, I learned about his life, and he learned about mine. Not once did he ever mention his cancer or the pain he was going through. He would always deflect my questions about his health and ask about my life instead. Not once did I ask for advice, as I was there to provide him comfort, but one day, he looked me straight in the eye and told me he knew the type of person I was. I was the type of person to be focused so much on the goal and not the journey. He told me that if there was one thing he learned; it was to not burn out on reaching a goal but to take the best possible journey there. And right after that, he told me to change the channel and open the blinds. It was just a sentence that he forgot about the next day I asked him, but for me, it caused me to re-evaluate my whole path at UT Austin. I realized that there were ways to have an impact during my time at college right now.

Riding for Texas 4000 is how I honor my veteran friend’s one piece of advice he ever gave me. I ride for his legacy and all other veterans struck by cancer. I ride to bring light to the intersection between healthcare and cancer treatment, something I learned about from the veteran’s family as they financially struggled to provide for his treatment.

I realize now that instead of waiting to have a medical degree or be able to change government policies, I can start now. By talking and raising awareness to the communities I meet through Texas 4000, I hope to help young people realize that change does not begin at a certain age, but a shift in mindset.

To Alaska and Back,

Lyon Lee