Marcus Eck

Marcus Eck
Rider Profile
HometownSpringfield, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorElementary Education Email:
View Rider Blog (3)

I was born into an extremely caring family in Springfield, IL in 1990. Throughout my life, my family's unconditional love and dedication has been a continuous theme. They have given me every opportunity I can imagine to ensure that I am successful in whatever I want to do. I have a very close relationship with my brother, Dan, who currently attends school in Minneapolis. I have been missing him quite a bit lately and regret not taking more opportunities to see him when he was so close. Dan and I relate on so many levels and love just hanging out. Growing up, I was always the kid that played sports all day and obsessed over my fantasy baseball team and baseball card collection. I would talk sports all day to my friends who were a near replica of myself. My group of friends has been consistent since the first day of kindergarten. Myself and these three other Springfieldians have remained abnormally close since the age of 5 through the difficulties and change that 16 years of life ensures. As of late, my interest in sports and things of that nature have waned. Although I always enjoyed music as a child, it was never a passion of mine. For example, I played bass guitar in the jazz band in 7th grade but failed to read music successfully. Thus, my amplifier was muted during performances and a piano would cover the bass line. Currently, music plays a huge role in my life. It seems to be playing throughout the day, every day. The feeling that I have for music is indescribable and yet shared by so many others. Other than music, I don't really have too many interests other than porch-sitting, loving life and hanging out. I know that Illini 4000 will be the sort of thing that changes people. It offers an experience unlike too many other things, and after being a member of Camp Kesem I truly understand how powerful being in a group like this can be. I look forward to embracing the experience and change that it provides. I look forward to being a better person in whatever way by the end of this "gnarly" ride.

Personal Statement

Everyone who has seen cancer or been affected by cancer will say that it is a terrible thing. Although that seems like an obvious statement, I think it is amazing that nearly the entirety of the population can agree on anything. This is something worth fighting for, to reduce the pain that this disease inflicts on so many people. I have seen cancer deteriorate my Uncle's body and I saw it take his life. I saw the same with my best friend's mother and once again, there is no doubt that it is a terrible thing. The experience I had at Camp Kesem was entirely different. I didn't see cancer first hand but I saw children and counselor's whose lives have been dictated by cancer's atrocities. But, at Camp Kesem, I felt something different about cancer. I saw the hurt and the trial that people were going through but I realized what the source of that pain was. I understood that the only reason cancer is so painful is because of the love people feel for each other. I saw how love was the cause of the hurt and also how love is the remedy. Camp Kesem was beautiful and it made me see the one beautiful thing that cancer provides: love. To keep Camp Kesem going is reason enough to join the fight. But Illini 4000 is bigger than that, it is trying to tackle the problem from the bottom up. By raising awareness and money for research, people will understand why this is so important and how the proper resources can make cancer a more tolerable fight. I know that I am going to be breathless from the beauty of this trip. Seeing hills, countrysides, oceans and lakes will make me feel free, but I know that the true beauty is going to be in the people that I meet. Without people, without our minds, we have nothing. I imagine seeing and feeling the beauty of people on this trip by looking through cancer.