- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2022
- Hometown: Aventura, FL
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Biomedical Engineering
- Email: email@example.com
Hello, beautiful people! My name is Stephanie Moreno, and I am a fourth-year Biomedical Engineering student from Miami, FL. Currently, I am pursuing a career in medicine, as I am specifically interested in finding ways to make healthcare treatments more affordable and accessible in developing regions of the world. However, I am also really interested in pediatric surgery, so we shall see where medical school (hopefully) takes me!
In my free time, you can definitely catch me spending my days under the sun by a body of water (ocean, lake, pool, you name it!) - tanning, reading a book, or dancing around to some Taylor Swift. My happy place in Austin has definitely become Zilker Park on a beautiful day playing spike ball or volleyball with some friends! :)
Recently, I've been spending my time working as a virtual medical scribe at the University of California in San Francisco, specifically in their Family Medicine department. Apart from Texas 4000, I am also involved in UT Student Government and the Student Engineering Council. Throughout my years on campus, I have grown into a more passionate and involved member of my community; I am very excited to see how Texas 4000 will push me to grow into an even better version of myself on the 40 Acres!
Why I Ride
Family has meant everything to me throughout my entire life. I am very fortunate to have the type of family that will call me three times in one day to just check in and hear about the highs and lows of my day. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, we spent some time living in Colombia with the rest of our extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, first and second cousins. One thing I loved most about my family throughout those years was the immense outward expression of love and joy that came with every family gathering, whether it was a simple dinner or getting together to read La Novena during Christmas time. Because of that, I could tell how much everyone adored my aunt, Vivi.
Vivi was one of the kindest souls I had the pleasure of knowing in my life. She radiated kindness and joy in everything she did, especially as an elementary school teacher in Colombia. I remember how much she would love to sit and watch TV with me for hours and hours after spending our Saturday afternoons window shopping at the mall. My aunt was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in 2013 and unfortunately passed away three short years later. At the time, it really hurt to know there was not much I could do to help her other than emotionally comfort her through video calls and be there in spirit, since she was getting treated in Colombia and I had been living in Florida by then. Most of all, it hurt to see my father and my grandparents hurting. I know that there is not a day that goes by where we don't think about her, but I also know that we are slowly healing together as a family. I know Vivi is with me every day, and I hope she is proud of what I am doing to help people that are currently going through what she went through.
I joined Texas 4000 to have the opportunity not only to listen, to understand, and to learn from the patients and the families affected by cancer throughout the route, but also from my fellow riders. I want to be challenged physically, emotionally, and mentally to put others’ needs before my own. I want to grow as a person with this community of students towards giving our heart and soul into providing cancer communities with hope and love. However, during my time in Texas 4000, I want most of all to use everything I will learn through this organization and through personal experiences to leave an impact on the world of the people we can help.
Although I will be riding for Vivi and for my family, I will also be riding for the loved ones affected by cancer that my class is riding for, for the patients and families we visit along the way, and for those all around the nation that need a little hope to get through difficult times. I ride for anyone you may know that has been impacted in any way by cancer - please feel free to share your/their story. Hope is such a rare feeling to be able to widely distribute, but this organization and its riders make that possible in the most magical way. I am so proud to be a part of that in the summer of 2022 and the months leading up to the ride.
To Alaska and Back,