Gabrielle Fairbairn

Rider Profile
HometownMinooka, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorHuman Development and Family Studies
View Rider Blog (15)

My name is Gabrielle Fairbairn and I am from Minooka, Illinois. I am currently a junior at UIUC pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I work at Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation, where I am a staff leader for recreational programs for adults and teenagers with disabilities. Once I complete my undergraduate studies, I plan to enroll in a graduate program somewhere towards the west coast for Occupational Therapy. My family plays a huge role in my life and I have learned to cherish all of the moments we are able to share together. This summer, I will be the 2011 Bike America Team’s ride leader. I am very excited to have the opportunity to create even more cancer awareness through the Portraits Project and to donate even more funds to cancer research and Camp Kesem. I am also extremely grateful to be able to participate in a once in a lifetime opportunity twice. If I could only bring seven books with me on a deserted island, I would bring the Harry Potter series. I have four all-time favorite songs: “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Far Away” by Cut Copy, and “This Must be the Place” by the Talking Heads. My perfect meal is either made by my mom, my aunt Karen, or a chef at Chipotle. After I complete this ride, I am going to adopt a dog (at least I really hope to)! And to my younger cousins, Sarah and Kelly, this is double-proof that anything is possible.

Personal Statement

Shortly after I decided I would ride with the Illini 4000 again, I received the news that my uncle had passed away from Leukemia. With his passing, I have now lost five family members to cancer. Because cancer forced our time together to be cut short, I have chosen to continue their battles against cancer. I am dedicating my ride to each of their memories: Richard Fairbairn, Rose Fairbairn, Alice Rillstone, Gere Rillstone, and Herb Rillstone. But I am not just riding for my loved ones. I am riding for the families just like mine—the families that have also lost their loved ones too soon. I am riding for the fighters and the survivors that I know and that I will never meet. I am riding for the donors, the people who are truly funding the cure for cancer. We all know what cancer is capable of, but we cannot forget what we, as human beings, are also capable of. By joining together, and encouraging others to join us, I know that we will find a cure for cancer.