• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: Houston, TX

About: Hi, I'm Ariana Chan! A little about me, I'm a senior double majoring in Music and Biology, which has given me such an exciting and crazy undergraduate experience! After I graduate, I hope to attend medical school and will actually be applying during the summer ride. I chose to continue pursuing music in undergrad as it has always been an introspective craft that has shaped my capacity for empathy and storytelling. I'm from Houston, more specifically the suburb of Pearland. I'm the oldest of 3 sisters so my dad has definitely become the expert girl dad. I'm also one of the biggest baseball fans you will meet -- go Astros!! At UT, some of the other organizations I'm involved in are the Texas Baseball Diamonds spirit group as well as Alpha Phi Sigma Pre-Health Honor Society.

Starting on my Texas 4000 journey has been one of the craziest but most exciting things that I've committed to doing, and I can't wait to see the person that I become in the coming year. From the stories I'll hear, to the lessons that I will learn, and to the people that I will come to dedicate my ride to, I'm looking forward to every part.

Why I Ride

I learned about the science of cancer from an early age. We were taught about how it was related to uncontrolled cell division in middle school science, and later on I learned about oncogenes and mutated tumor suppressor genes which can lead to cancer development. What happened on a molecular level made sense, but how this translated to a potentially life-threatening condition is something that I utterly struggled to comprehend. Joining an organization that directly supports the fight against cancer in so many ways, from funding research and support services to community engagement, means so much to me.

I ride for two of my aunts who are in remission from breast cancer. Their strength, both emotionally and physically as they underwent treatment inspires me every day. I ride to show them my endless love and support. I also ride for my grandparents–I know that they might be worried about me biking across the country but I can’t wait to share my stories with them when I come back. I ride for those who have passed away from cancer and for their family and friends. Everyone’s pain and loss is different, but I ride to show my support and to celebrate your loved one’s memory. I also ride specifically for those who are battling cancer on their own. No one should have to fight cancer, especially alone, so I ride for you.

I ride for my teammates and their own connections to cancer. They always inspire me every week at our meetings with their vulnerability and bravery when they share their stories with our team, and I look forward to everything that we will accomplish together on our individual and collective T4K journeys. I also ride for myself and the physical and mental growth I hope to achieve. Though I (embarrassingly) didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 12, my immediate love for the activity and the appeal of such a crazy mission to bike across the nation compelled me to apply to this program. My Texas 4000 journey will teach me so much about my capacity to achieve a long-term goal through incremental motivations and progress–all the while contributing to a cause so much bigger than myself.

I ride for the vision of cancer-free world. From pap smears, to colonoscopies, to mammograms, to skin tests, precautionary care shows how deeply cancer prevention must be a part of our lives. If you’ve ever had even the smallest fear or anxiety and thought to yourself “what if I have cancer?” I ride to show solidarity and that we are in this fight together. I’m not trained whatsoever in practicing medicine and providing care (yet). However, being in Texas 4000 is a way that I can make a difference now and for that I’m forever grateful!

I would be honored to ride for you or a loved one who has been affected by cancer. Your story is important, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to share it with me via email or at my number, 832-418-1738.