Profile

  • Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2022
  • Hometown: Austin, TX
  • School Year: Senior
  • Major: Neuroscience and Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences (SLHS)
  • Email: tashalanslyn@utexas.edu

About: Hi, I'm Tasha! I'm currently a fourth-year at UT Austin pursuing degrees in Neuroscience and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, as well as a certificate in Spanish. My most exciting academic endeavor as of late has been transferring into my current major (SLHS) in Fall 2020 and falling in love with the mission and impact of speech-language pathology.

I love many things, but am particularly fond of musical theatre, road trips, my baby niece Aubrey Rose, and watching the sun set. A movie I recently watched that I cannot recommend enough is 3 Idiots (2009) and my top three favorite artists are Dermot Kennedy, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Taylor Swift.

On campus, I'm a proud member and leader of Texas Tour Guides, Texas Spirits, and The Blood Brigade... all service-oriented organizations that truly mean the world to me. I am deeply passionate about spreading awareness of the nationwide blood shortage, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. [If you are eligible, consider donating blood or plasma this week!]

Why I Ride

I ride for three of the most influential people in my life: Karinya, Josh, and my mom.

Karinya is perhaps the sweetest soul and brightest light you could ever meet. She and I met in 2014 when we were both cast in a local Austin production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King & I. Although I was shy and more reserved, Karinya’s bubbly personality quickly brought me out of my shell. She had this contagious laugh that always got us in trouble before we went onstage and she loved to tap dance, no matter what shoes she had on! Every night for six months straight, we did homework in the green room and talked about school and boys and dance until we were ushered backstage. Two years after K&I, Karinya became sick due to a relapse of paraganglioma and was moved to hospice care. Despite the most difficult circumstances, she never failed to lighten the mood, either tapping her feet or singing show tunes or both. As I ride to Alaska, I will be humming ‘I Whistle A Happy Tune’ or ‘Shall We Dance’ like we used to in the green room. I ride in memory of Karinya.

Josh is my longtime family friend akin to a cousin and someone I’ve always looked up to growing up. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the beginning of his senior year of high school, yet graduated as valedictorian of his class, as drum major for the marching band, and with a huge smile on his face. He’s been cancer-free for over three years now and is now pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. More importantly, he can solve any Rubik’s cube in record time, loves all things NASCAR, and cannot be trusted around hamsters and ceiling fans! He is thoughtful and kind and has an unending curiosity to understand the world around him… Truly, there is nothing he can’t do. I ride for Joshie!

Closest to my heart of course, is my mom. She’s the kind of person to bend over backwards for her loved ones and never ask for anything in return and she’s most certainly the reason why I love deeply and live fearlessly. The amount of love I have for this woman is insane. While driving to Houston every six months for chemo, my mom has continued running her self-owned risk management company and managing the household with two children in college. She fights with a grit and perseverance that I have never seen in anyone else and I can’t wait for her to meet me in Alaska in 2022. I ride for you mama!

Lastly, as a future health professional and the daughter of two scientists, I also ride for the sake of science. To me, one of the most meaningful facets of Texas 4000 (among many) is its unique ability to mobilize the community and fund cancer research on a large scale - a field that continues to break boundaries and provide hope to families impacted by cancer. I am so proud to support a field of research I wholeheartedly believe in.

By no means is this list complete or finalized. If your life has been impacted by cancer, I would be honored to hear your story and dedicate my ride to you or a loved one. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at tashalanslyn@utexas.edu!

With all my love,
Tasha