- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2017
- Hometown: Southlake, TX
- School Year: Graduate
- Major: Family Nurse Practitioner
- Email: [email protected]
I'm an optimist and a lover of all things outdoors - all I need is sunshine! I find myself fulfilling the role of cancer nurse, triathlete, and youth group leader most days of the week. In 2012 I graduated from UT Austin with a bachelor degree in Nursing. I've worked for five years in oncology and critical care and am now back at UT studying Family Nurse Practitioner. I plan to work in oncology after I graduate! Update: I have been accepted to a job opportunity of a lifetime and will be pursuing a Fellowship in Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas starting September 2017!!
I'm also married to Mike, an idealist and purveyor of fine things; he works as a portfolio manager at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
When we're not debating the nuances of Harry Potter or Myers-Briggs Theory, one can typically find us at Walton's Fancy & Staple for brunch, walking our puppy, Echo around Town Lake, or sipping cappuccinos at a local coffee shop.
We're old, we're boring, but we're content!
ps. We just got a scooter, and we are loving it!
Why I Ride
The older I get, the more people I've known with cancer. My grandmother, my mentors, my friends, my in-laws. It never gets easier to hear about "another person with cancer"; the pain of losing those you love never really goes away.
I decided to become a cancer nurse at the young age of 19 when I sat in on a lecture about biotherapy - we have drugs that kill the cancer with minimal damage to the patient - sign me up to cure cancer! Fast forward to today: I've been a cancer nurse for 5 years at MD Anderson and St. David's South Austin Medical Center. It's been awesome and not so awesome. You dance through the good days and grieve through the bad. I've sat with patients and their families as they received the bad news and walked with them through their toughest days. I've encouraged patients to keep fighting when they were weak and held the hands of the dying during their last breaths.
No one told me of this heavy price to pay as a cancer nurse.
I've also been an athlete for most of my life and have been searching for a way to combine my two greatest passions: fighting cancer and cycling. As a member of T4K 2017 I get to ride to fight cancer and to use my experience as a cancer nurse to educate others along our journey.
I ride in memory and in honor of so many people I love, especially my Grandma Sue, who passed away from a four-year battle with lung cancer in November 2015. My favorite memories with Grandma Sue & Grandfather include summers at the pool, shopping at the Galleria, mani/pedis, and Big Saturday Morning Breakfast!! I'm talking eggs, bacon, pancakes, biscuits, white powder donuts, AND Borden's Dutch Chocolate Milk (no other chocolate milk would suffice). Outside of her husband and siamese cats, Grandma loved no-one more than her grandchildren, and catching up on our love lives was her favorite pastime :) Though her passing was heart-breaking, I am thankful she is no longer in pain or suffering. I am grateful we had 4 good years with her, and that she was able to see so many wonderful events in the life of our family. The grief of her passing hit hardest the day after I adopted my puppy Echo, because the first person I wanted to call was Grandma Sue. I even dialed her number and let the phone ring before I remembered she wouldn't be on the other line to answer my call.
I ride for the hope that no more granddaughters will have to say goodbye to their grandparents too soon.
Additionally, I ride for my patients and their families
I ride for my coworkers who go to work every day to fight cancer
I ride for my Grandfather Paul who is a prostate cancer survivor
I ride for my Great Uncle Don, "The Colonel" who fought melanoma
I ride for my Father-in-law Kim who is a prostate cancer survivor
I ride for my Mother-in-law Kay who is a breast cancer survivor
I ride for Dave who is in remission from a brain tumor and currently fighting Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor cancer
I ride for my Uncle Dayton who is a colon cancer survivor
I ride for Danielle who is a skin cancer survivor
I ride for Mikey who beat Leukemia 4 times
I ride for Beth who is fighting breast cancer
I ride for Matt who is fighting lung cancer; I ride for his wife and their 4 young children
I ride for Patti who is fighting breast cancer
I ride for those who can't
I ride for the hope that one day cancer will no longer be the fight we fear, but the battle we've won.
Follow my journey on Instagram @HeidiBikesToAlaska
I'd love to hear why you ride and if I can ride in honor of your and your loved ones. Please email me at [email protected]