- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2023
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Public Health
- Email: email@example.com
Hi! I’m Julia, a third year public health student here at UT Austin. While I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do after college, I am passionate about healthcare, public health, and ethics within the healthcare system. I hope to pursue something that relates to these issues later in life! In addition to being on the 2023 Team for T4K, I am currently a recruitment chair for Always Texas, a new service and social organization at UT Austin.
As someone who was born and raised in Austin, I love to spend my free time outdoors: hiking the Greenbelt, swimming at Lake Austin, jogging, or just sitting at Zilker with friends. I also love to spend time with my kitten, Wilbur, who is about one year old :,). I’ve been vegan for almost two years, and learned that I like cooking along the way as well!
I am so excited to start this journey with Texas 4000, and I appreciate you taking the time to learn more about me and my story! If you would ever like to reach out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why I Ride
I don’t believe that there is anyone on earth that hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another. There are countless people to ride for, but I have a few people in my life that stand out to me.
The first experience I had with cancer was with my paternal grandmother, or Nana. She was one of the toughest, yet kindest, women I have ever known. Nana gave birth to nine children as a young woman, and ended up with almost forty grandchildren. Despite how huge of a family we are, she had a way of making every one of her grandchildren feel seen and loved by her. I believe she was the glue that held all of us together, hosting all of us in her home in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Later in life, she suffered from breast and skin cancer. Because I was young when she passed away, I don’t think I fully understood the severity of her illness until she passed away. Despite being in her late 80s, I remember her as someone who was energetic and eager to spend time with me and my cousins. I ride for Nana and her dedication to family that she instilled in me.
More recently, my maternal grandfather, or Grandpa Gene, passed away from COVID, with complications due to being in treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. He tested positive last year, just days after receiving his first dose of the vaccine. He was in remission at the time, but his body was still severely immunocompromised from several chemo treatments. He was one of the most hardworking people I have ever known. He got his Masters in Social Work here at UT Austin, and went on to create his own company in Houston, Texas, where he further dedicated himself to helping those in need. He worked well into his 80s, and joined meetings via Zoom from the hospital bed, even after he tested positive for COVID. I ride for Grandpa Gene and his hardworking nature, as well as the generosity he showed to everyone around him.
I have an aunt who is also a lymphoma survivor, my Aunt Mar. Being one of two sisters with seven brothers, she is definitely one of the strongest people I know. I am so grateful for her constant support from up in Detroit, Michigan. She is no stranger to Austin as she sent my cousin, Megan, to school here at St. Edwards. I can’t wait for her and her family to visit again soon so I can hear more stories about the mischief that my dad and uncles got into when they were young! Aunt Mar, I ride for you and your comforting, kind nature.
Lastly, I would like to ride for those who have been impacted by brain cancer in some way. Although I am fortunate enough that I don’t know anyone personally who has fought brain cancer, it was something I wanted to draw attention to because I grew up with epilepsy. Although I am lucky in the sense that I’m on medication that works great for me and have been seizure-free for years, the period of time in between my first seizure and diagnosis was over a year, and gave me an ounce of insight into what life with brain cancer could be like. I felt the loss of control, autonomy and freedom that comes with having a chronic neurological condition. It is still hard for me to fathom that for many who suffer from brain cancer, uncontrollable seizures may just be one of several symptoms they have to deal with on a daily basis. Undergoing radiation, preparing for surgery, experiencing memory loss, or dealing with general fatigue are just a few examples of what those with brain cancer may be experiencing at any time. Experiencing seizures and epilepsy has put in perspective what those who live with chronic, debilitating illnesses endure all the time, and I would like to ride for them. I experienced one of dozens of symptoms they live with. I ride for those who suffer from brain cancer and their strength in losing so much control and independence.
I am privileged in that the list of those who I ride for is only a few, but if there is anyone else you want me to ride for, or simply just want to tell me about, please reach out! I would love to hear about and honor your loved ones.
To Alaska and Back,
Julia Krebs <3