Jillian Podgorski

Rider Profile
HometownCary, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorSpeech and Hearing Science
View Rider Blog (3)

I've lived my whole life in the little town of Cary, Illinois and I am proud to call it home. My awesome parents and my two goofy brothers gave me the greatest childhood I can imagine and are definitely my best friends. Family has always been #1 in my life. They mean everything to me and I wouldn't be who I am today without their continuous support, love, and craziness. Around our house, the sillier the better! I have always been a huge fan of the outdoors, music, photography, acting like/playing with kids, and volunteering. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying Speech and Hearing Science to one day become a Speech-Language Pathologist and work with children. My love for the outdoors and volunteering combined with my passion to find a cure for the devastating effects of cancer drove me to join the Illini 4000. I can't imagine a better way to spend the summer than riding my bike across the country meeting inspiring people along the way raising money and awareness for a cure.

Personal Statement

Almost anyone you talk to has a personal account of cancer affecting their lives in one way or another. Cancer affects almost everyone and even though many cancers are preventable, there is a shortage of research dollars. We are doing this ride because we are young, energetic, and can make a difference raising money, awareness, and hope for all of those effected by cancer. The ride might get tough at times, but the idea that our trip is never more difficult than dealing with cancer will keep us motivated! I feel so lucky to be riding with the hope that we can help in some way or at least inspire others to do the same