- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2024
- Hometown: Kingwood, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Biomedical Engineering
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi all! Thank you for stopping by to learn more about me and Why I Ride. If you have any questions, want to chat, share your story, or even just share your favorite coffee (or beverage of choice) order, I can be reached at email@example.com!
Anyways, now to the real About Me section :) I was born in Olympia, Washington and raised in the suburbs of Houston in Kingwood, Texas. I am a frequent traveler, especially between Washington and Texas as most of my mom’s side of the family is still in Washington.
After attending the University of Houston for a year, I transferred here to UT where I am a senior biomedical engineering major going into the medical device industry after the summer ride. Ever since elementary school, I have had a curious mind and was eager to find a solution for whatever problem I was presented with – and that is exactly what I am learning how to do here at UT. I have a passion for advocating for people who do not have access to essential healthcare and making medicine more personalized.
Outside of my academics, I love spending time with my dogs, having endless conversations about the most random things with my roommates, running, traveling, going to concerts, and of course spending time with my family – the village that has raised and supported me endlessly.
Why I Ride
One of my earliest memories with cancer and its dire need for a cure was back on my elementary school’s EcoBots team. As a fourth grader with a programmable robot, it seemed like the challenge was just for curious students to explore and attempt a way to detect cancer. That curiosity has driven me to where I am today, as a biomedical engineer learning all of the possible ways and approaches there are to diagnose and treat cancer. Now, as a college student studying to become a biomedical engineer, I understand the magnitude of the problem I was trying to solve as a nine year old.
I have seen the way cancer diagnosis and otherwise have heavily impacted my family around me. I have family members who have gone through lung, prostate, blood, colon, and breast cancer; however, I have not lived through most of those diagnoses myself and have rather heard the stories from my family. I ride for the strength of my family, for supporting each other when they were most in need.
What I have lived through though, is hosting annual breast cancer awareness games with my high school volleyball team to celebrate the lives of those who survived breast cancer and to remember those that we have lost as a team. I ride for my teammate’s moms and my coaches. I ride for a close high school friend, whose mom was diagnosed with brain cancer during high school. While she survived her initial prognosis by many years, this past summer she passed away after one last final trip with her daughter. I ride for the lives she touched as a teacher, her neverending kindness, and the daughter she raised who I am proud to call a close friend. I ride for my brother, whose friend passed away from ovarian cancer shortly after high school. I ride for my mom, as I watched her have to virtually attend the funeral of a lifelong friend during the pandemic.
More recently, I have found myself dedicating my T4k journey to my Lolo (Tagalog for grandpa) and my family. While his health conditions have not been due to cancer, this past year has been an arduous journey. I ride for my Lolo, in part, because I feel helpless being far away from him and not being able to be there with the rest of my family. By working and studying hard, and giving into T4k’s mission a little bit more everyday, I feel as though I am doing right by him. I ride for him because he continues to have the strength to get better every day. I ride for my family who has made every effort to be there for him and to make sure that he is getting the best care that he can (despite being so stubborn, but at least the consolation for that is that it runs in the family haha).
With the right resources, funding, and research there is the ability to find a cure for cancer. With hope, knowledge, and charity the fight against cancer is stronger than ever. This is what I am riding for. I am riding to give people a chance at a better quality of life. I ride to improve the quality and access of medicine for every life that cancer touches.
To Alaska and back,