Christy Nichols

Rider Profile
HometownGlenview, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorLinguistics and Spanish
View Rider Blog (3)

"Hello all! My name is Christy and I’m a senior at UIUC majoring in Linguistics and Spanish. I just returned from a fantastic year in Barcelona and am excited to be back for my senior year at U of I. I play water polo here and love my insane teammates and couldn’t be more thankful to have such a great group of friends. My friends are incredibly important to me. I love being surrounded by happy, crazy people who are working together towards a common goal, which is why I’m so excited to be a part of Illini 4000. My family means the world to me; I have two older brothers and wonderful parents who are some of my best friends and the ones that I first turn to for advice. They have always been supportive of all my endeavors and I’m so grateful to know that they will be behind me every step of the way on my ride this summer. Thanks to my friends and family for your encouragement and support as we embark on what is sure to be one of the craziest and most meaningful adventures of our lives!"

Personal Statement

"Cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people every year and there just isn’t enough money to fund research efforts, which is where Illini 4000 comes in! We are riding to raise money for cutting-edge cancer research. I will be carrying memories of loved ones along with me as I bike across the country. The first serious encounter I had with cancer was when I was 13, when my beloved swim coach was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer. He passed away in a few short years at the age of 22. I was astounded by the fragility of life and realized that cancer can affect anyone. Most of all, I will always remember Ted’s truly infectious, inspiring personality and his positive attitude in regards to his illness. Unfortunately, Ted was not the only personal connection that I have to cancer. My Uncle Jay passed away from pancreatic cancer in January of 2009. It was a difficult time for my family that once again reinforced the fact that cancer is a disease that can affect anyone at any time. Shortly after my Uncle Jay's diagnosis, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a very scary diagnosis, since his brother was facing an uphill battle against cancer at the time. However, thanks to early detection, I'm happy to say that my dad is now cancer-free. My mom has also been affected by cancer. After many non-melanoma skin cancers, her dermatologist found a melanoma on her lower leg. Like my dad, my mom was very fortunate that the doctors found it early and were able to remove all of the cancerous tissue before it spread. And I will also ride for Donna, the mother of my first BFF who is currently fighting a tough battle against breast cancer. I will ride for those whom cancer has not claimed and to show them that they do not struggle alone. I ride in memory of “The Mighty Ted” and his unrelenting positivity in the face of cancer. I ride in memory of my Uncle Jay and to remember that cancer is indiscriminate. I will ride with all these people in mind and to keep me focused on the many miles that lie ahead!"