Texas 4000 for Cancer was founded by Chris and Mandy Condit in 2004, both engineering students at the University of Texas in Austin. Diagnosed at age 11, Chris himself is a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. He conceived Texas 4000 as a way to continue the fight against cancer by raising funds for cancer research and sharing hope, knowledge, and charity throughout the continent. Chris felt that creating the longest charity bicycle ride in the world, from Texas to Alaska, would be an appropriate way to fight the nation’s greatest disease threat.
Chris, Mandy and their founding team create the Rockies and Sierra routes, volunteer model and overall structure that has been continued by University of Texas student leaders, a small staff, and an increasingly large team of supporters and volunteers. After the inaugural ride when 43 students blaze a trail from Austin to Anchorage, the student riders present a check to the American Cancer Society for $112,000.
The first ATLAS Ride is started by alumni to compliment the summer ride. The ATLAS Ride continues to be a great way for friends, family, and community members to ride alongside of the students for the first day of their 70-day journey. 2005 is also an important year because a new group of students are interested in fundraising and making the 4,000+ mile trek to Alaska. There will be a year two!
Texas 4000 formally establishes a Board of Directors, led by Board Chairman Jimmy Schatte, and holds the first Texas 4000 Tribute Gala to celebrate the riders’ return. Now a treasured Texas 4000 tradition, the Tribute Gala leaves a lasting impression on all who attend. Integral to the organization’s sustainability, BusinesSuites and Sense Corp become founding corporate sponsors for multi-year commitments and partnerships. Texas 4000 partners with MD Anderson Cancer Center and donates $195,000 to support cancer research.
Texas 4000 establishes the “Texas 4000 Distinguished Professorship” at MD Anderson Cancer Center, which continues to support cutting-edge cancer research for generations to come. Texas 4000 donates $225,000 to MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Luci Baines Johnson and Senator Kirk Watson help kick off the summer ride by speaking at Day Zero festivities. Jack & Adams Bicycles becomes the organization’s official bike shop. 2009 is the first year Texas 4000 provides grant funding to support cancer research at the University of Texas Biomedical Engineering Department. Texas 4000 donates $310,000 between MD Anderson UT Biomedical Engineering.
A third route, dubbed “Ozarks” is established and set to travel through Houston, Little Rock, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis and beyond. This addition enables Texas 4000 riders to spread their message of Hope, Knowledge and Charity to dozens of new cities along 4,000 new miles of North American roads.
Texas 4000 turns 10, reaches $4 million raised to date and celebrates donating over $1 million to fund cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.