- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2014
- Hometown: Flower Mound, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Communication Studies, Corporate Communication
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I call home Flower Mound, Texas, which is a suburb outside of Dallas. I lived there my entire life before moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin three years ago. I have an amazing Mother and Father, and I am the second oldest of four girls. My three beautiful sisters, Lindsey, Julie, and Katie, are the smartest and strongest girls I have ever met in my life. We were lucky to grow up in a house filled with love from our parents. My parent's were high school sweethearts and the best example of unconditional love I have ever seen. My mother is a saint and my father is stronger than superman. Growing up I was a huge daddy's girl which was what lead me to attending the University of Texas. Both my parents are UT Alumni and my dad is the biggest UT fan I know.
I grew up playing sports and loved being part of a team. When I got to college I really missed the special bond that comes from teammates and was searching for a place to find that special bond again. In my Junior year at UT I finally found that missing puzzle piece, Texas 4000. I am now a Senior at the University of Texas studying Communications Studies and I can't wait for the day I graduate because that means summer is here and I get to bike to Alaska.
Why I Ride
I ride for my dad, Tom Schutze.
I came into Texas 4000 with a Dad who was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2010 and Multiple Myeloma (an incurable blood cancer) in 2011, he was currently in remission and I had the idea that I would go on this ride to fight his cancer with him. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2013 my whole perspective of this experience changed. My father passed away of Multiple Myeloma on June 10th. I went from riding to help my Dad fight cancer, to riding in memory of my Dad, in just a few short months. I have seen first hand how cancer can take the ones you love away from you. In March my dad had a bright future that looked cancer free. Cancer doesn't play fair, within just four months it decided to take my dad's life at the young age of 51. I continue to ride for him because his strength and courage in his last few months is the most inspiring thing I have ever experienced. I have never met someone stronger in my entire life, other than my mother who was by his side every step of the way. I never want another daddy's girl to lose her dad, or a wife to lose her husband, a caregiver to watch their loved one die. I want to do all I can to find a cure for this disease.
In my last conversation with my dad before he passed away I begged him to keep fighting, I told him I couldn't do this without him. As a little girl the last thing you want is to live a life without your dad. He wont see me graduate, he won't see me get my first big girl job, or walk me down the isle. But what he said to me in that last conversation made all of this suffering I will endure in the loss of my dad have purpose, it gives me the strength to keep fighting every day. He said, "Courtney we are going to make a difference in the fight against Cancer. I will be with you every step of this way. Every time you climb a hill and you feel out of breath I will give you more, when you feel like you can't bike anymore, I will help keep you going and we will make it all the way to Alaska, together." I will continue to fight for my dad and with my dad. I will fight for all those currently suffering and those whose beautiful lives have been cut short due to this disease. The passion burning inside me to make a difference in finding a cure for cancer is stronger than anything I have ever felt. I encourage you to join me and my teammates in this fight. I have yet to meet a person who has not been affected by cancer in one way or another, someone always knows someone who has had cancer or passed away from cancer. I want this to change, I NEED this to change.
My dad said we would make a difference in this fight, and I will honor those words until the day I die. To Alaska and beyond.