- Route: Unassigned
- Ride Year: 2024
- Hometown: Houston, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Biochemistry
- Email: email@example.com
About: Thank you so much for visiting my page! My name is Sanika, and I am a junior at UT Austin majoring in biochemistry and minoring in studio art. I enjoy all things art, including drawing, painting, and sculpting. In the future, I hope to keep up with my art and dance, attend medical school, and bike to Alaska!
Why I Ride
I ride for my grandma and her brother, Babya. Babya was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in July 2022. He passed a few months later. I did not know Babya very well, but I know his death left a mark on my family, my dad especially. Babya was his fun, lively uncle, always sneaking him chocolate or taking him to watch the fireworks. I know he will miss him very much.
The day that Babya passed, I also felt like I was losing a part of my grandma. She was everything, providing support and encouraging me everyday to be my best self. If she were still here, she would have fought to change the trajectory of her brother’s illness, and I wish I could tell her how much I love and miss her and that I will be here fighting in her place.
Secondly, I ride for all the patients that I have met while volunteering at Texas Oncology: “Chloe”, who excitedly showed me some of her favorite books, “Jessica”, who patiently explained to me how her cold cap works, and everyone else fighting cancer with a grin. I cannot imagine how much strength that must take.
Lastly, I ride for hope. Cancer is a relentless disease, often robbing individuals of their energy and identity. By riding my bike from Austin to Anchorage, I would like to encourage those I meet along the way that the fight is not over -- that just because cancer has taken root in one’s body, it does not mean that it has won. Every day spent alive is a chance to live; it is a chance to visit an old friend or to dance outside in the rain.
Every day spent alive is a reminder that hope is not lost, and I ride to keep that alive.
Finally, I want to thank you for your support in this journey. It means so much to me that you are here reading my Why. If I can ride for you or a loved one, or if you would like to share a story, please feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to lend an ear. :-)