- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Round Rock, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Public Health
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, I'm Alex!
I'm a local Austinite, and currently a Senior Public Health major. I'm spontaneous and love grand gestures, as evidenced by my decision to bike to Alaska when I haven't touched a bike since I was 11. I'm a big podcast nerd, and am always on the lookout for good horror movies to binge watch.
I'm the oldest of three, with a 16 year old sister Andi and a 10 year old brother, Mick. They are both infinitely cooler than me, and I'm so thankful I've gotten to grow up with them. My parents, Radona and Jason, think I'm a little nuts for doing Texas 4000, but they're excited to have a reason to book an Alaskan cruise next summer. My two sons (tuxedo kittens I rescued) have absolutely no clue what I'm doing, but I'm sure they would be proud if they could understand.
I'm honestly so excited about my 2018 team. In the year that we've been together, I've gotten close with so many of my teammates and they've really supported me through the process. I can't wait to have an entire summer with these amazing, inspiring people, and I'm so looking forward to this next year of training. Here's to my future farmer's tan!!
Why I Ride
I've been involved in the fight against cancer for a few years now, having participated in Texas THON to raise money for Dell's Children's Hospital and shaving my head in Brave the Shave to raise money for St. Baldrick's and childhood cancer research. A close friend of mine and 2016 Ozarks Rider, Jose Talavera, encouraged me to take things a step further and apply for Texas 4000. At the time, I was really concerned with the time commitment, so I kept the idea on the back burner.
Then Jose started his ride. I watched him post on Facebook throughout the summer about all the people he had met and all the stories he was able to carry with him to Alaska. Suddenly, Texas 4000 didn't seem like some extracurricular that I didn't have time for. It was a hands-on way to touch lives, and connect with those who were suffering due to cancer. Empathy is something I value above all else, and this chance to spread hope really connected with me.
However, I still didn't make up my mind to apply. It seemed like an incredible experience, but I didn't see myself getting chosen and making the team. I worked a little on the application, but mostly decided not to bother. The day before the application was due, my mom called me with news that my Grandpa Jack had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I immediately tore into the application with more determination than I had with anything else before.
When I got the call that I had made the team, my Pa was still undergoing chemotherapy, and I was terrified. Throughout my time on the team, I've been able to lean on my teammates when things were tough, and celebrate when he finished chemotherapy.
Now my Pa is cancer free, but still deals with complications from the chemo. As he recovers, I'm more and more determined to spread the hope that cancer can be fought and defeated through Texas 4000. Now I ride to celebrate his and other's victories over cancer, and to support those who still suffer with it every day.