|Hometown||Ft. Lauderdale, Florida|
|University||University of Illinois|
|View Rider Blog (1)|
Hi! My name is Mason Metzkes, I'm a freshman and I was born and raised in Plantation, Florida, a city near Fort Lauderdale. I came to the University of Illinois to study aerospace engineering and escape the Florida heat. As an only child, I was able to entertain myself most of the time, so being far from family doesn't come as hard to me as it does for some college freshmen. Most of my time at UIUC is dedicated to classes and homework, but outside of scholastics, I participate in a few clubs outside of Illini 4000. I am a part of the Baja SAE team at UIUC as well as a member of AIAA. I also pledged my first semester at Sigma Phi Delta, an engineering professional and social fraternity. When I'm not busy with clubs or at the fraternity house, I'm usually sleeping, playing video games, or watching hockey(go Panthers!). I can't wait to join the rest of the Illini 4000 Bike America team this summer and make a difference in the American cancer community!
I was first introduced to Illini 4000 at Sights and Sounds during the first week of school. Hearing about what they do for research and about the portraits project caught my interest. I have a few connections to cancer in my family. My grandfather past away from kidney cancer in June of 2011 and my other grandfather has had a fight with cancer as well, but went into remission. My mother is an oncology nurse for Cleveland Clinic Florida and I'm always meeting new patients. I've seen many people come and go through the clinic, many in remission, but some were not so lucky. To be able to better understand the American cancer experience by meeting people by way of the portraits project will give me a glimpse into what my mom experiences and what her many patients experience. However, one of the things that I have experienced first hand is the unending love that pours from those affected by cancer. I hope to pass along that love and care and share the message of hope to others through the Illini 4000 Portraits Project.