- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2024
- Hometown: Victoria, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Psychology
- Email: email@example.com
You are the product of your environment. Everything that you – as well as the people you are surrounded by – do, has made you into the person you are right now. I hope as I am sharing my memories and stories, it helps you encapsulate who I am and the reason I am here today.
My first memory in this world was in Pakistan. I remember stepping out onto a small balcony and looking into the eyes of an owl before looking up and seeing an airplane in the sky. I remember yelling that my papa was right there - just a few hundred feet above me - and getting so excited at the thought of him finally coming home to my mama and I. My second memory was getting on that airplane with my papa, mama, and sister. I am a product of two immigrant parents. They uprooted their entire lives - leaving behind the familiarity of their land, language, culture, family, and who knows what else - to provide a better future for their kids. They are, truly, my biggest inspirations in life and a constant reminder to me that anything is possible, even if it seems impossible. They have provided my siblings and I with a world of opportunities, more than they have ever had in their entire lives, and yet they have done so much more than I could ever imagine.
I love trying new food. Growing up, my mom always made the best food. She would always try to recreate different types of cuisine she saw online - but of course she would add our own spices to give it her own special touch. I remember all my friends begging to try more of her food and then laugh as they chugged their waters after every bite because of how spicy it would be. Since moving to college, it’s been a little mission of mine to try as many food places/coffee shops/cuisines as possible before leaving. I hope to make it one of my side missions as I am biking to Alaska in each new city we stop at.
I hope to one day go into medicine. Growing up in Pakistan, my dad always told me of the hardships his family and him endured. How, with such limited healthcare, his family didn’t always get the best treatments since they didn’t grow up with enough money. How, as my mother was delivering me, the doctor broke my shoulder pulling me out - making it an almost deadly delivery. Since moving to America and being a healthcare worker here, I’ve personally seen and heard how he’s been able to improve the lives of his patients, and how much Hope he gives to all of them. His passion for not only improving our life, but also all of his patients' lives was something I was always in awe of. In a way, I feel as if he passed his passion onto me, and I hope to one day make him proud for that. I hope to one day provide care for all those who have lost Hope in their healthcare provider.
I could go on and on about the moments in my life that have made me the woman I am today, but I will leave it at this. I am so grateful to have my parents, my siblings who have taught me I can love and hate them at the same time, my aunts and uncles and cousins who have taken care of me my entire life, and my friends who without their support and care I would be nothing without. I am so beyond grateful that you have taken the time to read my profile today and to be a part of this team in the fight against cancer. If there is anyone you would like me to dedicate a mile to or add to my growing list of people I ride for, please don’t be scared to email me. It would make my day to hear from you <3
Why I Ride
Every individual has experienced at least one moment in time that will always be imprinted in their memory. Moments that one will carry with them until the end, moments that frequently come to mind when alone, moments that mark a defining moment in one's perspective on life.
One of my defining moments happened when I was volunteering at Dell Children’s Medical Center. I was shadowing a pediatric doctor who, at the time, was treating a child with cancer. This family had been seeing us for a while, and my initial opinion on them was how upbeat the mom seemed, and how strong both her and her child looked at first appearance. It was kinda inspirational. One day, the doctor was explaining to the mother the next steps of treatment her child will be receiving. I still remember the sob the mother had cried out that day, it was the first time I had actually seen a family member cry in front of me. She described how, as a single mother working four jobs, she was only getting about an hour of sleep per night and still barely had food for herself and her child since treatment was so expensive. It was heartbreaking to see this mom break down, because she seemed so strong for her daughter. The worst part was that all we could do was sit there and listen. We couldn’t provide a solution for her, we couldn’t provide any hope, all we could do was listen and say we understood. This was the first time I had felt powerless in the medical field. The doctor later explained to me that sometimes all we could do was listen to the families because sometimes they have no one else to talk to about this, or don’t want to release this frustration on anyone else. I truly believe that this experience altered my perspective on both the cancer patients and the family members that support them because their life is so heavily affected in so many ways, but they never show it. I want to ride for this woman and her child, to be able to provide anyone the initial hope that I wish I gave to them when I was hearing their story. Every single person I encountered after that—those who lost their lives to cancer, those who overcame it, and those who are still fighting it—had a similar pattern to their stories: they looked for hope no matter what obstacles life presented. This concept of Hope is what I want to carry throughout my time in Texas 4000, and beyond.
I've come to realize that everyone has experienced cancer's effects to some degree, which is why Texas 4000 is such a critical group. It produces leaders that are compassionate, strong, and outspoken, ready to start the steps to eliminate a terrible disease that has torn apart families and friendships. Through hope, knowledge, and charity, Texas 4000 impacts lives in the long term. That’s something worth prioritizing. That’s something worth supporting.
I ride in support of individuals who have seen a loved one go through treatment and recover.
I ride in honor of those who have witnessed a loved one battle cancer fiercely but lose their battle against it. I ride for their resiliency and hope that one day we will find a cure.
I ride for my parents who taught me what it means to persevere through everything even when odds can be against you, and for being my inspirations in life.
I ride for my siblings and extended family who are the embodiment of love.
I ride for all my teammates who have experienced the effects of cancer and other adversities either themselves, their loved ones, or someone they know.
I ride for all the immigrant parents out there doing everything in their power to give a better life to their children and future generations.
I ride for myself and the experiences that have molded my perspective on life.
I ride especially for all the people who go through cancer alone, or who feel alone because they’ve lost someone due to cancer. While I don’t have a close loved one who’s battling cancer (and I do acknowledge how lucky I am to be able to say that), I would be honored to ride for you, your family, or any person you may know who has been affected by cancer. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story. I would love to add you to my list of why I ride.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope this inspires you to make a donation, share your story, or even spread a little Hope of your own :)
to Alaska and beyond,
A growing list of who I ride for:
The children/adults who are currently fighting or already fought this battle
Those who need hope
My mom and dad
Kashi, Kapish, and Karan
My countless aunts, uncles, and cousins
Every individual on my team
Karam Chand, father of Dr. Aneel and Dr. Teekam, who fought prostate cancer
Mary Ann, Sean's Godmother
Taha Malik, son of Dr. Azhar Malik
Tina Berliner, who beat both brain cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma
Stephanie Mitchell Duncan's Husband, who fought prostate cancer
Nana Jovita, Tia Yaya, & Tia Vello, for Tina Gonzalez