• Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: Austin, TX

About: Hello! My name is Krithika Gilari, and I am a junior pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience and a certificate in Scientific Computation and Data Science. I was born and raised in Austin, so this city has always been home:)

Here’s a little bit about me -

I love spending time and working with children! They never fail to put a smile on my face and always remind me to find joy in all the little things in life. Working at Girlstart and volunteering at the Austin Children’s Museum both acted as outlets towards my exploration into career-oriented work with children. My continued passion and eagerness to make an impact on kids and my interest in medicine led me to my current role as a pediatric medical assistant! After completing my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend medical school and practice as a physician within a pediatric specialty to be the backbone in helping children navigate their diagnoses while also supporting their families.

Outside of school, I have been a dancer for the majority of my life. I started my dance journey at the young age of 4, where I began doing Bharatanatyam, Indian classical dance. I continued doing Bharatanatyam throughout high school, where I also danced on my high school ensemble team, Sapphires. As I entered college, I knew I wanted to continue dancing and I had the privilege of dancing with UT Saaya, a co-ed bollywood fusion dance team for the past 2 years! To say the least, every single dancer and mentor throughout my dancing career has impacted me and I can’t imagine my life without these people.

In my freetime, I love to bake (tres leches is my favorite) and paint! I also enjoy going on long walks around Austin with my friends. Even though I’ve lived in Austin my entire life, I haven’t explored too many of the food places downtown, so I’m slowly, but surely making my way through more restaurants and food trucks!

I’m so beyond excited to be embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime journey alongside my teammates in the fight against cancer.

Why I Ride

I ride for my grandfather.

The news of my grandfather’s diagnosis came to my family very unexpectedly. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a couple of years after he underwent a coronary bypass surgery. After already having undergone an invasive surgery with a lengthy recovery time, it was a shock to have heard the news of his cancer diagnosis. We were confused and felt numb; it was difficult only being able to talk to him over the phone as opposed to physically being by his side. Since my grandparents live in a smaller city in India, he had to travel alone on a train for 12 hours to a hospital for his initial evaluation, and now goes alone to his treatments closer to home while still taking care of my grandmother through it all. My grandfather’s persistence and resilience continues to inspire us all. This past June, we flew to India where we celebrated his 84th birthday and the completion of the most recent round of his treatment.

I ride for all the patients I have seen in clinic, their families, and the entire rheumatology department at Dell Children’s. I also ride for every single doctor, healthcare worker, scientist, and researcher who is critical in treating patients and advancing healthcare.

Initially, stepping into my role as a pediatric medical assistant, I didn’t understand how rheumatological diseases affect the lives of pediatric patients nor how it affects their families. After my very first week at work, I found that the majority of the patients that I saw didn't have a true cure. Conditions such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis hinder the participation of the patients in activities and drastically change their everyday routines. While working in the clinic, I have been touched by the stories of many patients and families.

Although I have heard many perspectives from children and their families, I will never understand the experiences that both patients and families go through every day. No patient should feel as though they are in this fight alone, and as a healthcare team, we ensure that it is known that they have constant support by their side. As a medical assistant, being able to connect with patients and relaying information to ensure effective and efficient care has allowed me to step in and actively participate in their care. Our patients have so much strength and courage, and I hope to carry that with me throughout every pedal on my journey to Alaska.

I ride for all my teammates and every person I meet over the next 18 months.

Every member of the Texas 4000 community plays an integral role in supporting its mission: sharing hope, knowledge, and charity in the fight against cancer. Together we are disseminating education to the communities in every city we pass and hospitals whilst developing community-based resources and funding research. Texas 4000 exemplifies the power of solidarity and how communities can come together in the fight towards a cancer-free future.

I ride for you.

Please feel free to reach out to me ( to share your story, how cancer has impacted you, or to just say hi! It would be an honor to carry your story with me to Alaska - the fight towards a cancer-free future would not be possible without your support.

To Alaska and beyond,
Krithika Gilari