Rebekah Munaretto

Rider Profile
HometownZeigler, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
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I was born in Bethesda, Maryland, but I didn't stay there for long. As an army brat, I soon became accustomed to the process of packing my belongings into boxes, putting them on a moving truck, and then heading for a new state. My father was a pathologist, and his work has inspired me to pursue a career in the medical field as well. Although such a goal requires quite a bit of studying, when I'm not hitting the books I can be found expressing my creative interests in writing, music, and sewing. I love hiking at Giant City Park and Ferne Clyffe, and I miss being able to go crab-fishing in our boat on the Puget Sound. Although I've been an army brat all my life and moved from state to state, there is one place I can call home: Southern Illinois. It's where my mother and father grew up, it's where I went to high school, and most importantly, it is where my family is. Our family is very large, consisting of more than just blood relatives by including our friends, but they've taught me well. They have shaped me into the person I am today, and I can't thank them enough.

Personal Statement

I grew up listening to my father talk about his work at the dinner table. As a cytopathologist, it was his job to examine tissue samples under a microscope and determine if a patient had cancer or not. Despite this, it wasn't until high school that became personally aware of the effect of the disease. I watched as a little girl in our community battled cancer, supported my step-sisters who had lost their mother to the disease, and watched my step-dad's father slowly succumb to lung cancer. In high school, I became an officer for High Schools vs Cancer, and led the group in our bi-weekly meetings and organized fundraising events. I was inspired by the people in my community that were fighting cancer and those who had fought it in the past. When I started school at the University of Illinois, I realized that the Illini 4K was the next step in my involvement. Cancer doesn't discriminate, and it affects almost everyone in some shape or form. Although there is no cure yet, there is hope, and that is worth fighting for.