• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2019
  • Hometown: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

About: Hello there, beautiful soul. Welcome to my page!

My name is Zelma, and I am raising money for cancer research for you, reading this, and in honor of whoever you know who has had cancer. If you are blessed to not have encountered cancer, I would like to do my little bit so that cancer will never prey on you or your loved ones. All of the money fundraised in this page will benefit phenomenal foundations like MD Anderson’s Children's Cancer Hospital, Hope Lodge Houston and Brent’s Place, which provide safe-clean lodging to minimize risk of infection for severely immunocompromised patients, and UT’s Department of Biomedical Engineering’s cancer research. Please consider joining me in the fight against cancer. Your contribution will mean so much not only to me but to cancer patients who are in need of life-saving treatment.

Why I Ride

"If a bear runs at you in the woods, don’t run away.
Look it deep in the eyes, put your hand on its chest and say
'Bear, I’m not afraid!' "

I was four the first time I visited my grandparents’ farm. I remember tiptoeing through the farm, frightened by the cows’ loud moos. My grandpa was working when I asked him where the bathrooms were. He told me to take a stroll in the woods and to answer the call of nature there. Shaking with fear, I asked, “what if a snake attacks me?” He laughed and instructed me to “grab a branch and hit it on the head.” My grandpa was fearless because he had already faced a monstrous obstacle. He was a strong man with a scar that started below his neck and ended mid-chest from an open heart surgery. Years later, when cancer stripped him of his strength and doctors gave him a terminal prognosis, he stayed true to his superhero nature and defied cancer by declaring that he would die standing up. Back home, he tried to stand up by himself until he had to rely on helping arms to stand for minutes at a time. By standing up, he let cancer know that even if his body was weak, his will to live would never break. Nothing could beat him, not even cancer.

When my grandma had brain surgery to remove her tumor, kids were not allowed in her hospital room. I bit my nails in the waiting room until the hospital staff was looking the other way, and my sister and I were able to sneak into my grandma’s room. A bandage had replaced her wavy, black hair, but her smile remained. She could have let cancer paint darkness in her heart, but instead she chose to fight it. Worried, I walked to the side of her bed and asked how she was feeling. “I’m hurting a little.” She then turned to face me. “How is school going?” She listened with such concentrated attention as I described the trivial spelling quiz I had taken. She then happily told me that she liked the way my hair looked pulled back...
That was the last thing she said to me. It represented exactly who she was. She was focused on me while she was literally fighting for her life. All she wanted to do was listen to me talk about my day, offer me her support, and say thank you for being with her. She was the most pure, amazing light. Even when cancer was snatching her from our arms, her smile was still on her face. Cancer could not take that away.

I’m riding for my incredible grandparents who taught me about kindness and bravery.
For the loving grandparents who are needlessly suffering. For those that feel afraid and uncertain, for those that need hope because I have felt hopeless too.
For those that need to know that they are not alone, that we care.
To give a smile to someone who doesn’t have anymore smiles left to give.
To empower the doctors at the frontlines with something tangible to keep looking for more effective treatments.

To crush this dark, cruel monster that keeps asking, “Who’s next?”

It’s us vs. cancer, so please don’t hesitate to email me if you have anybody you would like me to ride for. It would be an honor to add them to my list of dedications and write their names on my legs during the ride.

Thank you for your generous gift of hope.

To Alaska and Back,

Next is my precious, ever-growing list of dedications made up of loved ones and of lovely strangers:

Abuelita Toña
Abuelito Manuel Garza Garza
Tio Manolo Garza
Mi Madrina Lupita
Mi Tia Toñita
Bai Yin Qing- an amazing grandpa who WILL get better
Jose & Jorge Elizondo- may they rest in peace
Carol and Maryland-breast cancer survivors
Francisco Suarez
Rufino Moreno
Trini Alvarez- cancer fighter
Abel Hernandez- for his speedy recovery
Nabeel Qureshi
Mary Duffy
Victoria Spalone- a mother and thyroid cancer survivor
Steven Overbeck- a husband
Myrtle- a grandma
Karen Ammerman
Austin Coffman
Alex- a son
Karen Keating - a grandma
Ken Ivie
Vanessa Lopez- a mother
Kevin Wall
Carmen Carbonell- a sister
Emilia - a mother-in-law
Guillermina Lopez
Gregoria Rosales
Francisca and Graciela Rosales
Too-tall (nickname)
Sue Henderson
Susie Herd- Breast Cancer Survivor
Me (Zelma); a kind sir wanted to dedicate his contribution to me because, according to him, “ I’m doing a great job.”
Anybody who needs it