I was born in Houston, Texas and have been blessed to grow up with an awesome mom, dad, sister and brother (and a few great pets along the way). My dad gave me some very wise advice a few years ago that I have taken to heart, and I think it defines how I try to live life. He said, “Georgene, you don’t want to leave this world with a full tank of gas.” I think he is so right. I think we should make the most of this life because it’s the only one we have.
I have tried to apply this sound advice to my life and have taken advantage of all the opportunities I can to learn new things. When I was fifteen, I decided that I wanted to experience life in another country, so I spent three weeks living with a family in Cuernavaca, Mexico. That experience helped me recognize my passion for the Spanish language and for Latin American culture. I decided during high school to try out for my cheerleading squad and the spring musicals. I love to perform and was so glad that I took a risk and auditioned because the experiences were irreplaceable. My senior year, I joined the diving team at my high school. Although I can’t say I developed much skill during my one season on the team, it was so worth it to be able to say that I tried and could now do a dive off the 1-meter spring board.
My time with college has been equally defined by trying new things and learning so much in the process. I went to a Christian camp called Ignite right before school started, and it set the tone for my time in college. It introduced me to community and made me so encouraged about pursuing a relationship with Christ in college. It’s amazing how much I learned on the other side of it, too, as a counselor for Ignite the following year. I participated in the first-ever Plan II Maymester to Costa Rica. This experience, too, was life changing. It was so eye opening to see the way other people around the world live and be influenced by their actions. I decided to go through recruitment as a freshman and have had an awesome experience as a member of Delta Gamma.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10
Fall 2011 Update:
This summer, I participated in Baylor College of Medicine's SMART Program for undergrads interested in research. I got the incredible opportunity to work in a Breast Cancer lab, and now have even more drive to spread Hope, Knowledge and Charity through T4K. I was inspired by how much energy the people in my lab put into their work and have no doubt that we will one day put an end to all cancers.
I think that it is such a blessing that I have to pause for a moment to decide who to dedicate my ride to because it is a testament to the fact that I have been fortunate to have grown up with so many positive influences. I have also been fortunate that I have not directly been affected by cancer. However, my dad’s father did have prostate cancer. Although I do not remember my grandfather, I can tell from the stories that my dad tells me and the fondness with which he speaks of his father that my grandfather was a really amazing man. It is partly because of my grandfather that my dad is as cool as he is. The role that my grandfather played in shaping who my dad is motivates me to dedicate my ride to my dad. So, I ride for my dad. My dad has been so supportive of me, from the days that he was my softball coach to the day that he taught me how to make his mom’s famous French toast. He cares that I learn how to think for myself and act independently: in order to have access to a car I first had to know how to change the oil in the car. I am so grateful that I have a dad who is so invested in my life. So I ride for my dad, who gave so much of himself to helping me become who I am.
Many people don’t have the same chance to have this same kind of relationship that I did with my dad because cancer cuts short the life of one of their loved ones. I ride because I know that cancer can be defeated, and Texas 4000’s efforts are making a huge impact on the fight to find the cure. In addition to raising money, these riders spread so much hope to the people they meet and the people who hear about them. I ride because when people hear that someone is willing to make such a sacrifice for them, it gives them more energy to fight this terrible disease.
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