Tracy Schafer

Rider Profile
HometownChampaign, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorNatural Resource and Environmental Science
View Rider Blog (1)

My name is Tracey Schafer and I am the only child of Marci Adelston-Schafer and Robert Schafer. I was always active in sports since I was three years old. I started dancing at Denises dance studio and continued on with dance off an on throughout my life. However, my major sport as a child was gymnastics. I was involved in the sport for nine years and competed on team for seven of them until I realized how scary it was to jump backwards on a four-inch beam that was four feet off the ground, hoping that somehow my hands would magically land on the beam instead of my head. That was when I decided to switch to track and cross country in high school. I have lived in Champaign/ Urbana, Illinois all my life. I went to elementary school about five miles from where I now go to college. However, I greatly hope to change this once I graduate with a degree in natural resource and environmental science. I love traveling, and I intend on backpacking around Europe when I graduate and joining the peace corps, green peace, or something of the like that can bring me to someplace in Africa to work with exotic animals and landscapes. I love animals and the outdoors, and I intend on devoting my career to help protect them.

Personal Statement

My mother has worked on the oncology unit of a local hospital since I was about eight or nine years old. She would come home and tell me about her nights and when she would have a patient die. It always seemed so amazing that she devotes her life to the cause and it made me want to help too. In high school, there was a boy that I ran with on the cross country team. I did not know him all that well, but he was a good runner and a nice boy. He was only sixteen and he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died a few months before the end of the school year. First semester during the cross country season, no one had a clue that anything could be wrong, and it was so tragic that no more than six months later he was gone. It amazed me that a healthy runner who was only sixteen years old could get a sickness that a man who is sixty and a heavy smoker would ordinarily get. Cancer is so unpredictable. One of the more intense instances I had with cancer involved a family friend that had cancer who we went to visit at the hospital when I was about ten years old. I remember that he was so happy to see us when we walked in, because he was just so excited to have someone to talk to. We stayed for about an hour, and when we were about to leave I remember him starting to cry. My ten-year-old self had never seen an adult cry other than my mother and I was very stricken by how much it meant to him just to have a familiar face there. He used to be very outgoing, had his own business, and loved doing things in the community, and this disease had put him in a bed in a hospital for the remainder of his life. It is very important to get involved in the fight against cancer, so the millions of people who are affected by it each year do not have to give up their life and what they love.