Sijia Wang

Rider Profile
HometownShanghai, China
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
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Hello, my name is Sijia Wang and I am an international student from Shanghai, China studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I major in Chemistry and this will be the second year of my college experience. It has been only one year since I first learned how to ride a bike, but I believe I will be able to finish the monumental task in front of me with the help of regular training. Joining the Illini 4000 is unquestionably the boldest action I have ever taken. Before I came to the university, I had always been living my life without having much interaction with the people around me. From a chemistry viewpoint, it is as if I was born with a full set of valence electrons and did not want to react with anything else. It was not until the start of college life that my bubble of solitude finally began to crack. With so many different ideas and inspirations around me, I started to realize the power of communication and exchange of thoughts. The student organizations really give me a chance to freely pursue my interests as well as my dreams. I applied for Illini 4000 in the hope of widening my horizon towards the greater world and exceeding the limits of my past. In the process, I will also get to learn the stories of those who bravely fought against one of deadliest diseases in the world and discover the breathtaking landscapes of the United States during the journey of a lifetime.

Personal Statement

For me, my experience with cancer started mainly with the descriptions from my mother when she gets back home from work. As a nurse, my mother has to deal with all kinds of situations in the hospital and one of the most difficult events she has to endure is to watch a patient being diagnosed with cancer. She told me once that being diagnosed with cancer is like receiving a death sentence and she can see the sudden explosion of fear as well as the loss of hope from the patient’s face as the terrible news echoes through the air. My understanding of cancer was furthered as I entered college and joined the Portraits Project during the second semester of my freshman year. It is during the time of being a board member that I am given a chance of reading though the words of cancer survivors for the first time in my life. As I ponder between the pages, the will and determination of these brave fighters seep into my mind with every single word. It takes extraordinary strength for a person clench to hope when one’s very own life is hanged by a thin thread. I would like to join the fight against cancer in order to reduce the amount of people that will suffer from this terrible illness as well as to pay my respect to those who have prevailed against such perilous odds.