- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2020
- Hometown: The Woodlands, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Geosystems Engineering & Hydrogeology; Geological Sciences
- Email: [email protected]
Hi there! My name is Anthony, but I also go by Tony. I was born and raised just north of Houston then moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas. I have two loving parents who are very excited to support me along this journey. My older sister is an Ob-Gyn doctor in Houston and is married to the coolest brother-in-law I could ask for. Together they have a beautiful little girl – Miss Layla Raye – who I very much adore and is a big reason why I ride.
On campus, you can find me mentoring first-year students, biking between classes, or studying in the geology building. My hobbies include photography, running, trekking, watching documentaries and comedies, tending to my succulents, collecting rocks and minerals, and walking the Austin greenbelts. My academic passion is geology but I also have an interest for food and water sustainability, conservation, demography, and geography. After completing my degrees here at UT, I plan to attend graduate school to pursue geological sciences.
Please feel free to email me at the address given above to share your story, ask a question, or just chat. I believe firmly that we can gain hope and strength through sharing our stories, so I invite anyone who has battled cancer, has been affected by cancer, or knows someone who has, to share their story with me. I would be honored to dedicate a day of my ride to you or a loved one.
To Alaska and back!
Why I Ride
Quite often I forget just how much my life has been impacted by cancer. I forget the loved ones that should be here in my life. I forget about the pain I witnessed for years, the difficult childhood I experienced, and the way my everyday life could have and should have been. Remembering isn’t easy, but every once-in-a-while I try to remind myself of what and who has been lost to cancer. However, I also try to remember the many positive opportunities that my experience with cancer has brought and continues to bring me – like Texas 4000 for Cancer.
I ride to remember. I ride for everyone in my life. I ride to get back into the fight against this destructive disease. To reconnect with and thank the people who supported my family and I through the most difficult time of our lives. To show the people I care about who have battled and are currently battling cancer that I support, respect, and love them so much.
Above all, I ride for the name tattooed on my wrist: Carlie Raye. We call her our “Raye of Sunshine.” My little sister fought Neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer, for three years before passing away a couple months before her seventh birthday. Carlie was the light of our lives. She was daddy’s little girl. Her smile was brilliant and eyes so charming. She wasn’t afraid to give anyone some sass, especially myself. Together we loved to play dress-up, eat ice cream, and bicker until mom and dad couldn’t take it anymore. She had such an impact on everyone she met, and the world is not as bright without her. I ride for my sweet little sister that I miss so much.
I also ride for so many more people that are special to me. I ride for my mother who had skin cancer. For Christopher Csikos, my old neighbor and childhood best friend, who passed away at five years old from Leukemia. For Jody Hopkins, my second mother, who defeated breast cancer. For Hans Weberling, a good friend of Carlie’s, who also had Neuroblastoma and passed at age nine. For Will Sullivan and Roman Kvapil, local kids my sister went through treatments with, who both defeated Neuroblastoma. I ride for the many kids my sister made friends with in the hospital and who became like family to us. I ride for my two best friends who each have a parent currently battling cancer.
I ride for the communities affected by cancer. For the families and marriages that have been torn apart due to the tolls of battling cancer. For the kids who spend their childhoods in and out of hospitals instead of playing tag with their friends in the park. I ride to one day, a day I hope is near, see the tears dry from the cheeks of those who have suffered from this terrible illness. I will ride...and ride...and ride.
Cancer took away more than just my sister, best friend, and others – it also took away a part of me I will never know again, but it has not defeated me. I am so proud to be a part of a team that is an overwhelming beacon of hope for people across the country, because I know exactly what it feels like to lose hope.
A growing list of who I ride for:
Those who have lost hope
The children who have fought and are fighting this battle
Our dearly missed teammate, Mason Schlechte
Our fellow Longhorn, Lizzie Tennyson
Carlie Raye Edgington
Robert and Theresa Lear
Christopher Csikos and Family
Hans Weberling and Family
Andy and Annette Schatte
Margaret "Mimi" Carruth
Grandpa Shipley and Family
Maria Krychniak and Family
John Pavetto and Family
Pat and Marcia George
Rhonda Salerno and Family
Connie Grigsby and Family
Tom and Michelle Koenig
Peter and Marie Lim and Family
David Mills and Family
Great Grandma Voeller
Elvira Riesgo de Pieri, "Doc"
Janene Fowler, "Mrs. Fowler"
Andrew Mays Halton