- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2019
- Hometown: Austin
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Business
- Email: email@example.com
Why I Ride
There's a couple of people that inspire me to ride.
I come from a pretty big family. I've got about 10 aunts and uncles, 40 cousins, and that’s just on my mom’s side. So my family is extremely large - but somehow, we make the moments with each other count.
My family moved to America several years ago for a better life. They joke about it now, but coming here meant several challenges; language barriers, financial troubles, and education limits were just some obstacles they had to face. Eventually however, they made their way down to Texas, where they're now happily staying.
My grandparents were those that remained vigilant throughout all of this. They were people that were grateful to God for being alive and for the opportunities they could now have. Against the odds, they ensured the best for how my family is today.
If there’s one thing that I can say about my grandfather, it’s that he was the embodiment of the term charity. After every holiday and every visit, he would give me a red envelope with some money in it. Even though he didn’t have much, he always wanted to share something with me as a sense of good luck and love. This love is something he was willing to share with everyone, and it’s something that I try to emulate every day.
We were in Minnesota when we got a call from the hospital about my grandfather. Stage IV cancer, they said, with a poor prognosis. It felt like being knocked into a different life.
Going through chemo was difficult for him; and yet his strength throughout treatment was something that was supernatural. Throughout the hair loss and fatigue, he was someone that was calm and collected. He was someone that was generous with his time and his love.
For allowing him to stay with us for an extra 12 months: thank you MD Anderson. I’m forever grateful.
I’m motivated to raise money for cancer so that I can reflect that same kind of generosity with others. In the spirit of him, I want to do what I can for those affected by cancer. I ride for a future that cancer will one day be a manageable disease.
Chantel is her name. She was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Her name in French means to sing; and I always thought it was so fitting because she had a voice that could make anyone stop what they’re doing and stare.
Her family owns a Boba tea shop in the Asian supermarket. Short n’ Sweet. Short stands for Peter Pham (her brother), and Sweet stands for her. Their mom named the shop after both of her children.
We were friends; and when I was in middle school, I would visit there very Saturday after going grocery shopping with my parents. She’d always be there, with a smile stretched across her face. There would always be wallflowers drying on the wall – wallflowers that she made herself. Sprinkled along the wall were acrylic paintings of things she believed were important – her brother, her friends, and animals she thought were beautiful. I always got the cookies n’ cream drink with pearls. I never ordered anything else.
All of this is to say that she was wonderful, eclectic, and simply a person that knew how to how to make the best out of every situation.
Hope, I think, is one of the biggest attributes I ever learned from her. In a way, I suppose it could also be Faith. It’s an ability to see some good in the world and to always be fighting for it. Even on our darkest days, there is a light. We just have to look for it.
I ride in her memory and love.
In Texas 4000, part of what we do to help out means letting others know they’re not alone. It’s part of why we bike so far - to let others know they will never ride alone. Maybe it’s explicit, sharing our stories with them. Maybe it’s being more subtle - doing things for them here and there, to let them know that we are always here for them. I believe having that connection and sharing that sense of hope is one positive step we can take as an organization dedicated to fighting cancer.
I ride for Mrs. Murphy, who taught me to love others from a young age.
I ride for Joe Luu, my churchmate and friend.
I ride for Max, Joseph, Mars, and Wayne.
I ride for Matt Sears.
I ride for my family, who I love and cherish.
To Alaska and Back,
I’d be honored to dedicate a day of my ride to you or someone you love. If you’re interested, please click on the following link that will take you to a form:
If you would like to see some special moments I’ve documented with Texas 4000, please click on the following link: