Christine Santos

Rider Profile
HometownPort Charlotte, FL
UniversityJohns Hopkins University
MajorBiology and Political Science
View Rider Blog (2)

Hello, my name is Christine Santos. I come from a family of four, seven if you include the pets (one dog and two clownfish). I was born just outside of Philadelphia but I grew up in the small Florida town of Port Charlotte. Growing up I was one of those kids that wanted to do everything, and thankfully my parents never stood in the way. In fact they worked hard to make sure I could do everything I set my sights on. To this day I still have my families unwavering support behind me, something I am eternally grateful for. Perhaps this is why I continue to be so ambitious in my future endeavors. Growing up I had the pleasure of watching my sister, Jen, do everything first then learning from her successes and mistakes. She is a big part of who I am today and likewise I am very thankful for everything she has taught me. In the short 23 years I’ve been around I have had a variety of life changing experiences. My families’ roots and experiences in South America have played a large part in my development as a person. I have had the opportunity to travel to some of the most exotic locales in South America. Through these trips I have seen some of the most extraordinarily captivating sights but also some of the most humbling. My mother in particular has always gone to great lengths to make sure that my sister and I experience the world for all that it truly is, a mixture of wonder and splendor, but also a place of great disparity. More importantly I have learned that it is a place where much good can and needs to be done for others in need. In my own life I have experienced much generosity and kindness, this I take with me in hopes of doing the same for others. I just graduated from Johns Hopkins University with degrees in Biology and Political Science and am planning on attending graduate school, before applying to medical school. It is ultimately my goal to become a neurosurgeon and work with Doctors without Border and the World Health Organization to promote access to basic health care and increase awareness for global health issues. I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had in college, were it not for my time at Hopkins I never would have picked up cycling much less decided to bike across the country to raise money for the fight against cancer.

Personal Statement

My family has been fairly lucky to have only had one person ever diagnosed with cancer. However, we have had several family friends who have struggled with skin cancer and breast cancer. I have not had to worry so much about cancer in my family but I know that this may not always be the case and that’s why it’s important for me to do my part in fighting it. I have always been amazed by the strength of cancer patients; their ability to fight this terrible disease and yet continue with everyday life is nothing short of inspiring. Cancer incidence is on the rise, this is without question. The medical and scientific communities however are making unprecedented advances in the diagnosis and treatment of various cancer types. We also now know that there are numerous steps people can take to lower their risk of developing certain cancers in the future. Organizations like the Illini 4000 through their mission of spreading awareness and raising funds for cancer research can have an important impact in the fight against cancer. Cancer touches not just the lives of patients but whole families and even communities. In fighting cancer it seems that it really makes a huge difference to have others fighting along with you, whether it’s your family, friends, or a group of college students. One of the greatest tools we have for fighting cancer is the support we can lend to one another. Even if you don’t know someone with cancer personally you can still give them hope by showing that you care enough to try and do something about cancer. That’s why I’m proud to be joining the 2011 Illini 4000 Bike America Team.