- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2023
- Hometown: Austin, Texas
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Psychology & English
- Email: email@example.com
Hi everyone! I’m Arianna (but I go by Ari), a junior from Austin, Texas, and I am so excited to be a part of the 2023 Texas 4000 team!
I am in my third year as a Psychology and English student here at UT. I am passionate about erasing the stigma around mental health, and I believe that everyone deserves access to mental healthcare and psychoeducation at every stage in their life. Everyone should be equipped to understand how their minds work, and know that mental illness is not only normal but fairly common. I am also a lover of literature and words as a form of expression, so I added English as a double major to serve as a creative outlet during my studies. The further I dive into this major, the better it gets.
I am a third generation longhorn, with my grandpa, my mom, and then me all attending UT. I have an older brother, who recently graduated from Texas A&M University, and is my best friend and sidekick throughout life.
In my free time, I love spending time in the sun, reading, thrift shopping, crocheting, coffee shop hopping, visiting record stores, caring for my plants, eating ice cream, and laughing with my friends. One of the greatest loves of my life is running, and I just recently ran my first marathon (Austin '22)!!
I am so honored to be joining Texas 4000 in the fight against cancer, and am so grateful that you’re here reading my page!
Why I Ride
What stood out to me the most about Texas 4000, and the final push in me deciding to apply, was the organization’s focus on connecting with the communities we’re helping. Fundraising organizations are common, but an organization that seeks to impact communities by one on one conversations is not.
I ride for those who have lost hope, who see no end to their pain, and I ride so that I can show them first hand - through conversation, connection, or simply the words on the back of my jersey - that I see them, I care for them, and I am fighting for them. Further, in the United States, the discrepancies in healthcare and health education are astonishing. I ride for those who don’t have access to the resources that I, as a UT student, do. I ride to spread knowledge and awareness, and I ride to do what I can to make cancer education and prevention accessible, regardless of where you are born or chose to live.
When I was about seven years old, my mom’s best friend, who I refer to as my aunt, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although I was young, it was immediately evident how serious the diagnosis was. I watched my mom cry when she heard the news. I watched my aunt fight her battle while maintaining hope, and continuing to be strong for her three kids. Further, I watched the effect that the disease had on her kids - the anxiety, the tears, the fear. My aunt has been in remission for many years now, and she continues to be a prominent figure and an inspiration in my life. I ride for her, her family, her fight, and her strength.
I ride because I can, and I ride for those that can’t. After watching such an important figure in my life battle cancer, and, subsequently, watching her family face the challenges with her, it highlighted to me how fortunate I am that this disease isn’t something I have to face every day. I have never had to watch a parent, grandparent, sibling, or best friend get diagnosed with cancer, and I’ve never had to face that diagnosis myself. However, just as those who battle cancer didn’t choose to do so, I didn’t choose to live a life free from it - I just got lucky. It is a privilege to not have to spend all of my days fighting this deadly disease, and it is a privilege that I recognize and don’t take lightly. From Austin to Alaska, I ride for all of those who aren’t as lucky as me, those who live every day with a cancer diagnosis at the forefront of their lives. I ride for those who see no more hope in the world, and no longer believe that people are fighting for them. I ride for those who are just looking for a reason to keep going. I ride for everyone affected by cancer - whether that be within themselves or within someone they love - and I ride for the hope that, in the future, a cancer diagnosis won’t be a deep fear, or death sentence, or heartbreak, but a cured disease and challenge that people know with 100% certainty will be conquered.
I ride for my family, for my friends, for all of those who have supported me up to now, and will continue to support me as I make my way to Alaska. Finally, I ride for you, taking the time to visit my page and read my story.
To Alaska and back,
Arianna (Ari) Hosek