Heather Norris

Rider Profile
HometownWaterloo, Illinois
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorAgricultural and Biological Engineering
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Hello! My name is Heather Norris and I am a senior here at the University of Illinois. I grew up in Waterloo, Illinois, a town just south of St. Louis. I have so many great memories there and miss it quite dearly. However, I’ve loved my past three years in Champaign! I am majoring in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, with hopes to one day solve pollution problems using plant materials. After using my engineering degree for something related, I would like to eventually own a flower shop, for I immensely enjoy gardening! Other things that spark my interest include doing origami, knitting, camping, biking, playing with cats, and above all, Jesus! I love planning service projects with my friends from Axiom, a Christian campus ministry I’m very involved in. I try to take advantage of as many adventure opportunities that come my way. In college, I’ve found myself doing missions in a Gypsy village in Romania, grooving to music at Bonnaroo (a music festival in Tennessee!), camping with friends in Colorado and Tennessee, and completing research at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park with classmates. Therefore, I’m very drawn to the Illini 4000 Bike for America team. I couldn’t be more excited to channel my longing for adventure into something beyond meaningful- helping to find a cure for cancer.

Personal Statement

I believe nearly everybody has some sort of connection to cancer, whether it has affected a family member, friend, or even themselves. Personally, I’ve had numerous family members and friends diagnosed with cancer. Four or my family members and friends have joined the growing list of cancer survivors. However, I was never able to meet one of my grandmothers, as her life was taken by breast cancer before I was born. Whether or not those diagnosed survive, an enormous toll is taken on the individual, as well as their family and friends. Yet, we have no reason to feel discouraged. I truly believe a cure is out there, and we must keep searching for the answers. Therefore, I feel cancer research is a very valuable thing. This summer, I will not only ride for those affected in the past or currently battling the disease, but I will ride for those to be diagnosed in the future. With proper research (and one day, a cure!) cancer can truly become a thing of the past. I will ride for those who will develop cancer in the future- so that when the news reaches them, it will instead be a simple fix and a story of hope. I will ride for the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and others who will not have to spend nights awake, worrying about the health of their loved ones. I will ride for those currently diagnosed with cancer- to ensure that when they are weak, those who are able are battling with them, searching to bring hope to such a desolate situation.