• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2020
  • Hometown: Austin, TX

About: I'm a senior nursing student who was raised by my two wonderful parents to love and cherish the important parts of life. I love my family with everything, and grew up quite close to a lot of my extended family. You'll find us celebrating with each other on every holiday, birthday, and the many ordinary Sunday's in-between. You can imagine, with a big family like ours, that's a lot of celebrating. They have taught me to love with every part of my heart, live life to it's very fullest, and most importantly - cherish and invest in family with everything. I try to do just that each day with little complaint. Each day is a gift, and it shouldn't be seen as any less. You'll probably see me driving in my gold honda with the windows down - hair blowing in the wind & music blasting (bad for gas mileage, good for the soul.) My dad passed on to me his love for jazz, and I find connection and deeper understanding to others stories through reading autobiographies and listening to podcasts about various things I love. Coffee shops are my havens from campus, where I hit the books, and snuggle in cozy chairs to reconnect with people. There's nothing like a warm cup of jo to make the soul smile. I'd like to visit every national park one day, and I've been fortunate to have traveled to quite a few throughout my childhood with my parents and brother. We've seen some of the world's most beautiful things together, and I'm thankful for those memories that defined much of my youth. I never take a sunset for granted, it's my absolute favorite part of each day, and I'll probably comment on it without fail. You may find me on my own, mosying around the neighborhood with my shoes off when the sun is shining. I love drinking in the sunrays and admiring the delicacies of flowers in my neighbors' yards. And when it's raining - I'll dance. Because getting soaked in the rain is much more fun than sitting inside, wondering what it might feel like. I love life's simple joys. I love people deeply, investing in a close few. I love taking days as they come. Most of all, I love doing things for people I love - including biking to Alaska.

Why I Ride

I ride for my Mom Myrl, who was my favorite painting teacher and who was like another grandma to me. She lost her life to breast cancer and is dearly missed by my family. I ride for Wayne, the beloved husband of my middle school band director Mrs. Redus, along with her and her two boys, who lost their husband and father to brain cancer much too soon. Mrs. Redus is one of my role models for what it means to be a strong woman, and her resilience always put me in awe. I ride for my sweet next-door neighbors growing up - Heather, Brenden, and Max, who were always so kind to me and who have also experienced the pain of losing a husband and father to cancer. I ride for my Aunt Mary, my kindred spirit, who won her fight with colon cancer, yet still deals with its aftermath in her daily life. She’s hiked part of the Appalachian trail since then, and one day I'd love to do the same.

I ride for the countless lives that cancer has taken from us and for those that were left behind. I ride for those still valiantly fighting their battles and those still yet to fight. I ride for those that have won yet still know cancers toll. I ride for all the hearts that cancer has broken, and the joy, love, and gratefulness that has patched them back together – including my own.

Somehow, something that can break us down so deeply can also bring us together in the most beautiful ways. There is tenderness within heartbreak and renewal in the hope we can provide each other. I’m privileged to be able to learn from and grow with my incredible Texas 4000 team, who all have their own unique stories to tell. We’re all here to do a small part in kicking cancers butt. We’re here to hear your story and ride for those you love. Join us on our crazy journey and lets do the dang thing!

If you want to tell me your story or share that of someone you love, please don't hesitate to reach out. My email is [email protected]. I'd love to dedicate my ride to you or someone you hold dear.

Ride Dedications: Dad, Aunt Mary, Kathy Gonzalez, Redus Family, Mom Myrl, Feeney Family, Gail & Brad Stern, Annie, Kamran, Jon (Noah's Father), Steven Pettit, Weston