Students gathered Monday evening to share stories and honor the life of former student Ruel Bobet, who died Saturday.
Bobet, 21, fought a 10-month battle with stomach cancer before entering hospice last week. A member of the 2012 Texas 4000 for Cancer team, Bobet was remembered by his teammates for his selfless and vibrant character, even during his fight. He joined the team before he was diagnosed as a way to honor his father, who is battling cancer.
The student organization, Texas 4000, annually cycles two separate routes from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska to raise “hope, knowledge and charity” for cancer research.
“He will be with us, on both routes, this summer,” said Texas 4000 rider Taylor Foreman, an anthropology senior. “Our fight this summer ... is personal.”
For three hours, fellow teammates, alumni and chairmembers laughed and cried while recounting their memories with Bobet. Stories included his off-the-wall jokes, hour-long, life-changing conversations and how he wanted to be a “professional volunteer” later in life.
“‘This is a comma, not a full stop,’” read one teammate, quoting a blog post written by Bobet after his diagnosis. The phrase has resonated within the team as a reminder to keep fighting “the impossible.”
The night ended with a ride dedication in front of the Tower. In a circle that covered the entire plaza, each member said they rode for Ruel, and then paused for a 21-second silence, commemorating his 21 years of life.
“I keep thinking of what his dad said, to not think about the [years] not had, but the ones he did have,” said teammate Jeff Zhao, a business senior, recalling a visit to Bobet’s house Saturday to visit him before he died.
Printed on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 as: Texas 4000 organization honors former student, member after his death