• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2019
  • Hometown: Frisco, TX

Why I Ride

Hello Everyone~

My name is Daniel Lee and I have made to the commitment to take a proactive fight against cancer. I've created this page because I want to make a difference. In the summer of 2019, for 70 days, I will be biking 4,500 miles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.

I'm inspired by the work of TEXAS 4000 FOR CANCER and wanted to support them by raising money as part of my participation in 2019 Texas 4000 Rider Fundraising. And what better way to show my passion for this organization and the cause that we fight for with my story as to:

Why I Ride.

Two of my biggest role models to this day are my grandfathers. From the first moment I could remember, these two have been my biggest inspirations in that they only showered me, my brother, and my cousins with infinite amounts of love. My grandpa from my mom’s side would always give us a big warm hug whenever we visited him and would take us straight to his backyard where he would lift up us on his shoulders and have us pick peaches from his peach tree that he grew since he was a young man. Whenever I had a peach, I would be reminded by the sweetness of my grandpa’s peaches and how it was a direct interpretation of my grandfather’s genuine smile – sweet and refreshing. My grandpa from my dad’s side was that hero that would come to my rescue in every instance. He was as sweet as Santa Claus but would do anything to protect me and my brother from danger. Whenever my dad would physically discipline us, he would step in the way and protect us whenever my dad would go too far. He protected me with his arms when we got into a car crash, putting himself in harms’ way just to ensure my safety. Even when he was bedridden from his brain tumor, he would always watch over my dad because he was diagnosed with depression when my family was struggling the most. My grandfathers were the very image of what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the best of both worlds when I grew up because they were everything in my world. At one point though, my world began to collapse.

The first instance was my grandpa from my mom’s side. When I was seven years old, my grandpa became very ill. Often times, when my family came over to visit, I wasn’t allowed to visit him because he was bedridden and feared that I would catch whatever he had. My family had no idea why he was suffering so much, and this lasted for multiple months. It wasn’t until one night where he was rushed to the Emergency Room because he was screaming in agony. I had to hear my grandpa screaming outside the walls of his hospital room. That was the last time I heard his voice. That was the last time I saw him smile. Ever… I never knew why my grandpa passed away until a year later. My parents didn’t want to tell me because they believed I was too young to understand and that it would only make me more frustrated with my grandpa’s death. The doctors stated that they weren’t able to discover that he had cancer until it was too late for treatment. Because I was only eight years old, I had no idea what that meant. I just felt powerless and useless in the moment where nothing I could do could save my grandpa. I just didn’t want anything like this to happen again. The second instance was my grandpa from my dad’s side. It was like reliving the nightmare again, only I was older. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and had a brain tumor at the same time. The man I called my hero was now suffering from the same disease that robbed me of my other role model. I was angry, upset, confused, and lost all at the same time. I couldn’t fathom as to why this had to happen to my two worlds. The very person who inspired me be a better person every single day, to continuously improve both physically and emotionally, was being taken away from me by cancer. My grandpa fought a war in going through treatment and healing. He was upset because he didn’t want to be seen as a financial burden, but I didn’t care. None of my family cared… He was treated for over 9 months until he was finally declared cancer-free. I had never felt so much joy, as I cried seeing my grandpa leaving the hospital and smiling again. Yet, at the same time, it brought back memories of my other grandpa. My thoughts ran wild for the next few days. “If only we found his cancer earlier, could we have saved him too?”

These two stories, these two role models of mine were the initial reasons why I wanted to ride. While they were still either alive or physically-able, they gave me so much love and compassion and always acted as humble servants, putting others before themselves. Growing up from this point, I knew that my story and my feelings of anguish, frustration, and despair were shared with the millions of people that experienced the same tragedies with their loved ones. That was my epiphany. That became my reason to ride. I wanted to be able to fight the very reason why so many people suffered. I know that I may not have the capabilities to directly fight cancer. I know that I may not have the intellect to be able to perform a miracle such as treat and cure cancer. But what I do know is that I can provide the resources to equip those who can. With all that I am, physically and mentally, I want to be able to ride for the sake of my role models and those who I know who have had their lives affected by cancer. Even the people that I meet in the future will become reasons as to why I fight cancer. While I am still physically-able, I will give my all and best. I want to ride for those who can’t. That is my reason to ride.

Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. Please don't try to give a huge sum if its financially difficult for y'all! Even a dollar donated makes a world's difference.

In addition, I want to hear your stories, with the link provided below:

I want to how cancer has affected your life personally with your or someone you cherish dearly, so that I can be able to ride for them during my journey.

Thank you in all advance for your generosity and kindness to give empower the powerless and help the helpless.

To Alaska and Back, Much Love~
Daniel Lee