I initially applied to Texas 4000 with a passion for people, medicine, and the fight against a disease that wrecks the lives of so many. Cancer now affects approximately one in two men and one in three women in the United States. The disease has run rampant, and will increasingly continue to wreak havoc and destruction in its wake. This cause is worthy of my attention as it the world’s attention, and I’m thankful that as college students, we are given abundant opportunity to spark involvement and passion for fighting cancer- because it is more than worthwhile, but a necessity.
In high school, I was part of a clinical rotation program for students aspiring to be in healthcare. Through this program, I was able to shadow doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel in various fields and specialties that included oncology. This experience, along with volunteering in hospitals, gave me insight and witness to the breadth of brutality, pain and suffering that cancer inflicts on individuals, their loved ones, and communities surrounding them. Hearing the stories and seeing the scars of these mothers and fathers, these daughters and sons- it ignited my desire to be an active part of the fight to end cancer.
My grandmother, Nina, is a survivor of breast cancer. She was my first motivation for applying to Texas 4000. Now I ride for her, and her endurance and strength through a process that I even can’t begin to comprehend. I ride for Cathy Whitefoot, my fourth-grade teacher who passed away from cancer. I ride for my friend’s father, a past-coworker, and a neighbor’s dog. I want to ride for all those whose stories I haven’t heard and have yet to tell. I want to ride to spread these stories of hope; of hope in the present, and hope in the eternal.
1 Timothy talks a lot about “fighting the good fight:” abiding in what we know to be true by faith, regardless of what we feel or think we understand. It is walking through life rooted in truth and hope, even through unimaginable trials and tribulations. The battle against cancer is one I can’t begin to fathom. But we have been given an opportunity to “fight the good fight” with and for those whose lives have been marked by cancer’s destruction. It is an honor and a privilege to get a glimpse of the battle many people are fighting every minute of every day- and that’s why I ride.