Liz Berger

Rider Profile
HometownFayetteville, AR
UniversityUniversity of Wisconsin – Madison
MajorCommunity & Non-Profit Leadership
View Rider Blog (2)

"Hi, all! My name is Liz Berger and I’m a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying Community and Non-Profit Leadership. I grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas and moved to Wisconsin during the fall of 2011 with intent of studying civil engineering. After my first semester I knew engineering wasn’t the right path for me and spent the next two years working, exploring other career paths and majors, and learning more about myself. Ultimately I knew I was looking for a degree that I felt would help me better serve others, and non-profit work was where my passions led me. I like spending my free time adventuring around Wisconsin while I continue to get to know the Midwest. I also like to read, explore various bike trails both on foot and by bike, drink coffee, and search with my friends for the best breakfast food Madison has to offer."

Personal Statement

When I was eight years old my sister Erika was diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis. Though the disease is far from cancer, as an eight year old I couldn’t quite comprehend what her disease was. People would ask me about her illness and I would respond the best way I knew how by saying, “She has gastroparesis… it’s kind of like cancer.” This seemed logical because even when I was eight I had an understanding of the side effects of cancer (fatigue, weight-loss, etc), and I was able to see them in Erika. As time went on her medical needs grew and she began seeing an oncologist. I would go with her to appointments and was able to witness the power illnesses have to bring people together. Within the chemotherapy room I saw my sister make friends, visit with nurses, and be part of a community of individuals with abundant strength and caring hearts. My sister passed away in January 2010 and shortly after my mom was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer. Within months my sister’s oncologist became my mom’s. I learned more about cancer while watching the toll it was taking on my family. The next year was tough, but as my mom continued to fight and finish chemotherapy, I finished high school. My mom is now in remission, but my past experiences have made me passionate towards the fight against cancer. Not only was my family affected by my mom's illness, but so were all the people that cared about her, including both her friends and mine. It’s imperative for more people to get behind the fight against cancer as the effects it has are long lasting and wide spreading. I saw this first hand, and the experience has continued to stick with me. I'll be riding this summer in remembrance of my sister and for my mother, while keeping in mind the oncologists and nurses who provide comfort and friendship to cancer patients everyday.