- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2018
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Biochemistry
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About: Hello friends!! I'm Phuong-Nam but most people know me as Phuong, Mai, or PN. Whichever the case, hello!! I am a third-year student majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Texas.... a.k.a pre-med hopeful. So basically school is life. When I'm not schooling, you can find me at church teaching cute kiddos about Jesus in youth group. Other than that, I love de-stressing with eating, listening to music, and hiking. I also recently started running, taking into account my health, but also so I could... you know... eat more. Anywho! I'm super excited to see where Texas 4000 takes me, and the people I'll meet along the way.
Why I Ride
I ride for my friend Joe. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, a few months before his high school graduation. Last Spring, he lost his battle against cancer after undergoing two years of treatment.
One of the biggest things I learned from Joe throughout his battle was the importance of hope and support. I was a witness to up-lifting hope and profound faith that spread wide across a community. It surprised me that I could feel so comforted and at peace despite the cruelty brought about by cancer. Visits to his room always filled me with the love and grace of God. Every night I was there, some form of prayer was taking place, be it reciting prayers aloud, praying the rosary, or singing praises to God. Of all the years in my life practicing my faith, I had never experienced such fruitful, unifying prayer. Despite his fragile state, he was able to bring people together into a network of support not only for him, but also for each other. That hope is what stayed with me every time I left his room, and it stays with me even after his passing. I experienced a hope that pushes me to want more out of life for myself and for others.
Texas 4000 is an organization that stands for hope through cancer research and cancer support. It offers students an opportunity to lead the fight against cancer now, and to develop the experience and skill-sets to continue providing hope in the future. Hope is a resounding feeling that remains a source of strength when all else fails. What I love about Texas 4000, is that it develops and builds a network of hope. Every aspect of the program is rooted in hope. Fundraising and donating money to cancer research provides hope that one day there will be a cure for cancer. Biking from Austin to Alaska, coupled with interacting with communities, and building relationships with those communities along the way, embodies hope that is tangible. So I ride to give people hope. Hope that reaches the past, the present, and the future. For those who have lost loved ones to cancer, hope that other families will not have to go through what they did. For those battling cancer and their families, hope to be cancer-free and in remission. And for the future, a collective hope that there will be a world that is free of cancer.