- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Atlanta, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Nutrition, Pre-Medicine
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, my name is Alexis, or Lexie—but I prefer to be referred to as Lex. I am a senior studying nutrition and aspiring to apply to medical school in the coming years. I was born and raised in a small east Texas town known for being the “Gateway to the Piney woods”—Atlanta, TX. I am blessed to say I have a family large in size and support towards my many ambitions. Alongside the rigor encapsulated in school I keep many things in my life to find fullness of joy all around. I work in a running store/absolutely adore the feeling of escape that running provides. I am obsessed with dogs, golden retrievers to be exact. Flowers are at the top of my “favorite things” list. One day I’d love to write a book. I constantly have bruises on my stomach from the daily insulin injections I give myself because I am a Type One diabetic. I love to wander in new places I’ve never been before. This randomly constructed list is just a few of the reasons I find myself full of thanks, happiness, and wonder.
The combination of a concept I value so deeply and a quote, help me to find purpose in every moment I am alive. Purpose to me, is everything. I long to forever proclaim the excellencies of the One who created us, and Jesus who gives an everlasting fountain of assurance, hope, and purpose. + “…If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…” –Rudyard Kipling
Why I Ride
My freshman year of college began at the University of Arkansas where I was abruptly taken to a local emergency room to be diagnosed with the life altering autoimmune disease commonly known as Type One Diabetes. Long story short that diagnosis was an event in my life that redirected literally everything including but not limited to: me transferring to UT, changing a career path, and a compassionate heart for health.
I now find myself here countless finger pricks and endless insulin injections later, thankful for what all this disease has allowed me to experience.
I ride for the awareness, prevention, and treatment of disease. I ride because I do not want to be a helpless bystander but rather one of the many that offer to take cancer by the horns and do something about it.
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” –Dr. Paul Kalanithi
I ride for that ceaseless sense of striving for a world free of cancer.
I ride for one of my dear friends, Mal. Her sister, MacKenzie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 4. The physical treatment was killing her body and Mallory recounts that watching someone go through cancer is a big factor that shapes who you are/will be as a person. MacKenzie beat the grim prognosis and gave Mallory a different outlook challenging her to cherish not only her sister more but all others in her life. Cancer gave Mallory a passion in which she is currently on a path to devoting her life/future career to helping others through the same journey she and her family went through.
April of 2016, I lost my #1 fan. My Tutu (grandmother in Hawaiian). Cancer attacked her body and cut her story shorter than deserved. The loud voice who was enthusiastically supportive of literally all of my endeavors- especially Texas 4000. The few times I got to visit home between finding out about making the team and her passing, she always got overly excited and re-astonished that I would bike to Alaska. My petite Hawaiian/Asian grandmother would bounce her knees whilst massaging her lower thigh muscles and say "Ahhhlexis!" "Your legs!" "I'm so excited for you!" "I'm so proud of you!" "Your legs!"
I feel deep inside me, not only how much I miss her- but how having to say goodbye to her because of cancer makes this ride exponentially more meaningful than before. I could so very easily write pages and pages of my Tutu's great legacy and love. She was one of those people you meet and do not forget. She sewed my dance costumes when I was eight years old and helped me make sure my senior prom dress fit in all the right ways. She got overly scared when I was taken in an ambulance to be diagnosed with Type One diabetes- but she fired back with "I know you're stronger than this". She never quit. She was the loud grandmother at my little brother's baseball games who would tell the umpire he was wrong in a heartbeat, multiple times throughout the game as she sat right behind the plate. She was the one who had the perfect amount of change in her van for my two brothers and I to get a Coke Icee after school. She was the one who offered to give me refuge when I felt like I wasn't capable of chasing dreams.
I miss her deeply. But I ride and prepare for the journey to Alaska with my Tutu as the cornerstone in my heart for kicking cancer gone. I ride for my Tutu.
I ride for Maggie, one of my best friends. She held close to her, like a brother, the brave soul that will forever me remembered in the hearts of my hometown and anyone that knew Hunter. He was diagnosed with cancer that soon became very aggressive almost three years ago. I know the courageous guy he was would fully support this completely outrageous task I have set before myself. Throughout his daunting fight against cancer he continued to quote the phrase “YOLO” (you only live once). Because of that outlook he had, I cannot let fear stop me. I cannot let the fear of how challenging managing blood glucose levels on a bike for thousands of miles stop me. I will not let the fear of the unknown inhibit me from fighting for those who truly deserve life over cancer.
Lastly, I ride for all of the people I will meet along the way that are/have been affected by cancer that cannot ride to Alaska as I travel my “Texas 4000” journey.