My name is Alanna Iverson and I am a hometown girl, born and raised in Austin. I was born on February 14, 1991, Valentine’s Day! I have a twin sister, who plays soccer at St. Edward’s University, an older sister who was an Aggie but now a UT Law student, and a younger sister in middle school. I grew up playing any and every sport imaginable with my sisters, just so we could get our energy out. Even though my parents are right down the road, Austin is too amazing to not spend as much time here as I can, which is why I chose UT. I have a passionate love of exercise, especially running. I have been competing in summer track since the age of 7, even qualifying for the Junior Olympics in the 3000 meters on three separate occasions. For my four years at Westlake High School, I was not only on the varsity school track, cross-country, and soccer teams but I was also a member of the Austin United Capitals Soccer Club. Now I am proud UT Longhorn studying Sociology and Mathematics, but more importantly I am helping in the fight against cancer and changing lives, including my own.
Unfortunately, I have had two relatives pass away from cancer, but I have also had one successfully battle the disease. When I was 9 years old, my mother’s sister died of cancer at the age of 53. Because of radiation treatment 26 years earlier for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, my Aunt developed lung, brain, and breast cancer, which proved to be a fatal combination. This was my first experience with cancer, but not my last. In 2006, my dad’s dad passed away from a battle with prostate cancer. Because he lived in Austin, I was able to spend much time with him before his passing and I am so thankful for this. My other grandfather successfully battled the same cancer many years earlier, though he still lives with some consequences of the treatment. My dad has dedicated some of his extensive amount of research to finding a cure for cancer, so this issue is very important to my family and me. I ride to help find a cure so that someday, no more families have to lose another member to this terrible and heartless disease.