• Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2023
  • Hometown: Katy, TX

About: Hi there!

My name is Sarah and I am a Junior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Computer Science with a certificate in Applied Statistical Modeling. Besides Texas 4000, I am also in Asian American Campus Ministries, where I serve as a small group leader, and CS Ambassadors, where I provide building tours and coffee chats for prospective high school students. Outside of school, I enjoy baking, cooking, running, hiking, and just being outdoors!

Why I Ride

Ten years ago, my grandpa passed away from liver cancer, something he was diagnosed with just a couple of months before his passing. However, in many Chinese families, it’s traditional culture to hide cancer diagnoses from the patient and some family members because they feared that it would cause too much emotional pain for them. So like my grandpa, I was completely unaware of his diagnosis until the day he passed away. I had always thought of cancer as just a disease that was part of life but far from me. Unfortunately, it took losing my grandpa to make me realize how terrible cancer can be. I was heartbroken that I was completely blindsided about my grandpa’s diagnosis. I was angry that cancer decided to choose my grandpa, who was so hardworking, joyful, and healthy. And I was disappointed and felt so helpless that I couldn’t do more to help my grandpa’s situation. I’ll never forget the emotional pain I felt of witnessing the tears rolling down my mom’s cheeks when she told me the news, the sorrow of not being able to say my last goodbyes to my grandpa, and the distressing imagination of the physical suffering that my grandpa had to experience despite not knowing what he had. This is why I’m choosing to ride. I want to ride for my grandpa. I want to ride for those currently battling cancer and those who may suffer from this horrible affliction in the future. I want there to be a day where children don’t have to experience the pain of losing their grandparents from cancer that they can’t control. I want there to be a day where it’s no longer “tradition” to hide cancer diagnoses from loved ones because of the emotional pain it causes but instead, I want there to be a day where we can feel free to tell our family members that even though they have cancer, they also have hope.

For me, being part of Texas 4000 means being part of a community of leaders who are passionate and engaged about fighting cancer and changing the world together. It’s an opportunity to raise money for the research scientists who continuously strive to find a cure for cancer. It’s a chance to spread awareness about the impact of cancer and also the impact that we can all have in fighting for a cure. It reminds myself and others that there are bigger issues beyond ours, that even though we may not be affected by cancer at the moment doesn’t mean that others aren’t struggling with it. Finally, I’ll be able to physically and mentally challenge myself as I ride every mile to Alaska and as I experience the emotional stories of the people that I meet. The ride to Alaska is not only a way for me to commemorate my grandpa but also a way for me to support my fellow riders, the people we encounter along the way, and families around the world who are all touched by cancer. I want to take action to promote change in the lives of many others by inspiring hope, raising money, spreading awareness, and sharing love.