About Me


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

About: Hello! My name is Mark, and I am a senior biochemistry student at UT Austin involved in cancer genomics research at Dell Medical School and pursuing medical school. I aspire one day to become an oncologist and let people know that Texas 4000 was a part of my journey.

At UT, I am also involved in the Health Science Scholars honors program council as a volunteer coordinator, StudentsCare as a hospital and senior home volunteer, and the Student Health Advisory Committee as a student liaison to university health services. In my free time, I enjoy running, swimming, and reading memoirs (recent development). Please feel free to reach out to me; I'm always happy to meet a new face! :)

Why I Ride

"During my first encounter with cancer while shadowing an oncologist, I found that despite having every reason to hold bitterness, many cancer patients shared stories and vulnerability that only encouraged me to see life's beauty. One elderly couple who had recently received news of a cancer diagnosis reminisced over their youth spent mostly traveling together, to which the doctor related her own traveling memories as I watched them bond. In the room next over, another patient who was a few years in remission, showed the doctor and I pictures of bronze garden decorations he had made himself since his recovery, quietly proud of his amazing work. When the doctor passed his pictures to me, she was beaming.

From all the participants of the clinic, from the doctor to the patients to the administrative staff, I came to understand how important cancer care was. Not only did it save lives, it held the capacity to give back relief, strength, and potential. The next day, however, I learned that this was also not always the case. A dejected teenager with prostate cancer came in for chemo, alone and averting conversation with the doctor. The oncologist would later also tell me how difficult it was inevitably losing lives and no longer seeing patients she would come to know well. While an opportunity for some to reclaim one’s life, cancer treatment may only go so far for others. Yet, one can only hold out hope and continue to advocate for its effectiveness in change.

A few years later, these lessons became pertinent to me as I was pushed to trust in cancer treatment's strength after learning a relative of mine had cancer. Although initially unclear whether they had hope for recovery, cancer services gave them the capacity to heal and reclaim parts of their life. Thankfully, they have since recovered, learning to return to what made them whole.

I ride in honor of the journey my relative and many others across the globe have faced and face with cancer. Cancer continues to hurt individuals and their families each and every day, yet hope persists. Steps are constantly being taken to ease suffering during treatment, build accessibility to healthcare, and make recovery possible. In every way I can, I want to help contribute towards this movement for change. To start, I am committed in biking to Alaska, supporting the cause each mile of the way."