Josh Weisberg

Rider Profile
HometownBuffalo Grove, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorIndustrial Engineering
View Rider Blog (3)

Hey, my name is Josh Weisberg, and I am currently a freshman studying Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois. Illini 4000 first attracted my attention because I enjoy extreme challenges. For example, I have been training for triathlons for the last several years, and my goal is to work my way up to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii some day. My Uncle Scott finished the Boston Marathon before he was diagnosed with Colon cancer, and I would like to run the marathon too. Also, someday I will compete in an Xterra race. Besides physical activity, I have also been a huge Cubs fan for as long as I can remember, another extreme challenge. However, I soon learned that Illini 4000 was no mind-numbing, insane challenge. Illini 4000 is an awesome way to combat a horrible thing: cancer. I was even more excited when I realized how much I could learn from teammates, cancer patients and survivors, and everyone else I meet along the way. I love traveling, but I hate taking the gondola up the mountain or taking cabs through the city. I find jubilation in my sightseeing only when I work to get there, such as by biking. Biking as a team is another thing that excites me. I was on the swimming and water polo team in high school. Ever since I moved into Champaign I’ve been searching for a team experience at the University like what I had back in the Stevenson High School Natatorium. Fighting cancer is the backbone of the trip in which every single person on the team draws their motivation from, which makes for the ultimate team experience, and allows us to accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Personal Statement

My Uncle Scott was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was in the 3rd grade. Four years later, the battle seemed to be calming down, until one autumn day when we got a call in the car. They had given him 1 week to 1 month to live. He died two days later. At his funeral I thought I wasn’t allowed to cry. I mean, I loved Uncle Scott so much, but I thought that I wasn’t allowed to be more upset than his two daughters Paige and Sydney, and my Aunt Beth. While I had to live without an Uncle who I admired so much, they were fatherless. My Grandpa told me that I could be sad, but that I should just remember all of the good things about Uncle Scott. However, 6 years later I’m starting to forget a lot of these memories. Even though I know it won’t happen, I’m still terrified of losing my memory of him completely. I want to ride cross country this summer in memory, and for my memory of Uncle Scott. During all those miles of thinking while I ride, I can go through stories and descriptions of Uncle Scott, to help preserve my memory of him. While I’m doing it, I want to fight cancer and help current cancer patients, so that their nephews and daughters and wives never have to fight to preserve their memory. I can’t do much in a lab or in the hospital to fight cancer, but Illini 4000 allows me to fight cancer in my own way. While on the ride, I hope we can project this message to people across the country, that there are many unique ways to fight cancer, and everyone can make an impact.