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

About: Hello! My name is Avyay Katre. I am a UT Austin sophomore currently studying to go into medical school. Besides being interested in cycling, I am also interested in building custom keyboards and expanding my cooking skills. Eventually, I want to open my own private practice as a doctor, but for now I am really looking forward to riding to Alaska in 2024!

Why I Ride

On a seemingly mundane summer morning, I attended my violin lessons as normal. Our class was small, consisting of only four students. Which is why it was extra noticeable when one of us didn’t show up. For this class. And the next. And the one after that too. Curious about where the other student was, I learnt that she was getting treated for leukemia from her family friend. As a middle schooler with little conceptualization of life-threatening illness, I figured that she’d be back in class in a few months; “she is young after all, there’s not much to worry about” I thought. This was the same rationale I had when I turned down the idea of us students playing violin for her while she was at the hospital. I convinced myself that she’d get better on her own, and she didn’t need us flaunting our ability to keep playing while she couldn’t to make the experience even worse for her.

Two months later, I learnt that leukemia got the better of her.

Even now, I regret not playing for her. It wasn’t like playing would have magically healed her, but rather the fact that I could have at least done something to show my support for her and her family’s fight against cancer.

Instead of focusing on what I could have done, I want to focus on what I can do now. And there’s so much to do. Cancer has been a war humanity has been fighting for the course of modern science. We now have prevention and early detection methods that have saved countless lives. However, there are still too many people without this potentially life-saving knowledge. Cancer research is making great strides in increasing our understanding of the disease, but as is with science, is constantly in need of funding. Cancer has taken a heavy emotional toll as well, which is why many support systems for families exist, but are in need of extra hands and funding as well.

I’m tired of being passive to the struggles of millions of cancer patients. I dedicate my ride to teach those who don’t realize the change they are capable of making in the lives of those affected by cancer. I want to show them how gestures, no matter how small, like playing a song for a patient, or large, like donating millions towards cancer research make an impact. I would dedicate my ride to the patients and their families who have people that are hesitant to support them. I want them to know that they have more support than they could ever imagine behind them. Last, but most definitely not least, I dedicate my ride to the girl I never played for.