- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Fredericksburg, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Nursing
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Alex, and I'm a senior nursing student from Fredericksburg, Texas. Though small towns are sometimes perceived to lack opportunities, I’m incredibly grateful for the close-knit community Fredericksburg has and the experiences that growing up there gave me. From shadowing nurses at the local hospital to teaching kids how to swim to doing service projects with my church’s youth group, I discovered my passion for serving others, and pursuing nursing as a profession became my dream! At times nursing school is time-consuming and challenging, but I feel especially fortunate to study what I love. I especially love working with kids and aspire to be a pediatric nurse practitioner someday!
In addition to nursing and Texas 4000, there are a few things I do my best to make time for. I love being outside; whether it’s swimming laps, running around Town Lake, hiking at the Greenbelt, or studying on a coffee shop porch, I feel the most content and inspired when I’m outside and active. I also love cooking, yoga, reading, concerts, and going on spontaneous adventures with my family and friends!
Why I Ride
When I think about my childhood, I feel very fortunate. My mom, who is one of the most compassionate and selfless people I know, taught me a lot about loving others. A small glimpse of this was her having me hand-make my valentines for my classmates every year in elementary school, driving way too many kids in one car from school to swim practice every day, consistently visiting home-bound members of our church; the list could go on and on! My dad has also taught me a lot about loving others. Despite busy days at work, he’d come home and happily go on bike rides with my brother and I, teach me how to drive, make up practice math tests for me, among other things. Both him and my mom are incredible role models, and what they’ve taught me about unconditional love is the epitome of Texas 4000 for Cancer's mission. They both inspire me to give back and that’s at the forefront of why I ride.
Because of cancer, some kids are unable to have an easy, carefree childhood like I did. In preparation for nursing school, I volunteered in the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, where my role was to play and hang out with kids during their treatment. Some days were good days, and we’d play board games, make crafts, and read books, but other days, the kids' immune systems were too weak for them to even leave their room. This significantly affected me; it broke my heart that while I could walk to class, swim laps, and live without pain or fear, these kids and their families unjustifiably experienced these feelings. It greatly changed my perspective, too. I began noticing myself complain about how tired I was or how much schoolwork I had to do, while I could be finding joy in the opportunities I have, especially the opportunities I have to make a difference. While I’ve witnessed firsthand the pain cancer causes, the emotional toll it has on families, and the way it alters lives, I’ve been inspired by the outlook on life the kids and families have. The kids I’ve interacted with almost always have a smile on their face, and that is a simple reason for me to ride. I ride in honor of these kids and their families.
Throughout this journey, I've reflected on my own family and friends who have been affected by cancer as well as other diseases and challenges. There are a few specific family members and friends who I ride for- I ride for my Nana, Annie and GranJack, and Auntie Barbe. I also ride in honor of people my hometown community has lost- Quinn, Kyara, Coach Remschel, and Harry.
Thank you for reading!