- Route: Rockies
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Kingwood, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Biology
- Email: [email protected]
Thanks for taking the time to visit my page and read about me!
I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Ten weeks later, my parents and I moved to Lafayette, Colorado, where I spent the first half of my childhood. Following another move, I spent the second half of my childhood in Kingwood, Texas, a small suburb northeast of Houston. Currently, I am a 4th-year student at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a degree in Biology with a minor in Kinesiology.
In January 2019, I tore my right anterior cruciate ligament while skiing in Colorado with my childhood best friend, Hannah. During my recovery process, I had to undergo months of physical therapy. Throughout therapy, my interest in the profession grew. It is because of this experience that following my undergraduate education, I will pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. I plan to specialize in pediatric oncologic physical therapy.
Outside of Texas 4000, I am serving as president of my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. I enjoy spending my free time with people I love, doing anything outdoors, having game nights, and watching romcoms :)
Why I Ride
My younger brother's close buddy, Landon, courageously battled Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, for two years before he received his angel wings in 2014. He was just ten years old. I was frustrated, searching for answers to why a kind boy and his family had to go through the undeserving pain of suffering and loss.
In 2017, I experienced my first loss of a family member. After moving to Texas, my grandparents, Nana, and Papa visited us from Colorado every Thanksgiving. While experiencing my new challenges of adjusting to freshman college life and living away from home, I excitedly anticipated returning that Thanksgiving to see my parents, brothers, Nana, and Papa. However, when I arrived home, my mom informed me that Nana and Papa would not be joining us for Thanksgiving that year. One month earlier, Papa began experiencing speech difficulties, and soon after, doctors discovered that the cause was due to a progressive, cancerous brain tumor. Papa was given 12-18 months to live. For Christmas that year, my family traveled to Colorado to visit Papa, Nana, and other family members. That was the last time I saw Papa. He went to Heaven the day after we returned home to Texas. This was just six weeks after his diagnosis, not the 12-18 months we expected. It was heartbreaking to watch how the disease affected both Papa's and our family's lives. It was difficult to watch Papa suffer, but in some ways, it was more difficult to see the pain it caused my family to lose him so quickly. There I was again, frustrated with wanting to significantly help, but not knowing how.
Then, a significant “how” came to me. Texas 4000 caught my attention because of its stated mission to cultivate student leaders and engage communities in the fight against cancer. The organization promotes this by sharing hope, knowledge, and charity through leadership development, grant-making, and its cornerstone 4,000+ mile bike ride event from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska. Aligned with my personal cause to fight cancer, participation in this opportunity is uniquely special as I will ride from where I live now in Austin to where I was born in Anchorage.
So, why do I ride?
I ride because there is a difference between caring for a cause and taking action in a cause.
I ride because Texas 4000 provides an opportunity to take that action.
I ride to bring hope to those with the disease, their families, and their friends.
I ride to raise funds dedicated to finding a cure for this awful disease.
I ride to uplift cancer victims, by demonstrating that they are not in their fight alone.
I ride to encourage my teammates and support our sponsors.
I ride for those who want to ride, but can't.
I ride for Landon, a friend who lost his life way too early.
I ride for Papa, my grandfather who lost his life before I could say, "I love you" one last time.
I ride for you, as a thank you, for caring to read this message.
During Landon’s fight against cancer, I began wearing a bright red bracelet with his name to support him, his family, and his cause; the L3 Foundation. I still wear the bracelet every day. Now, I realize that the bracelet also demonstrates Landon's support for me. It is his constant reminder to fight hard, remain steadfast, and never lose the passion for serving my personal cause. So with Landon’s L3 Foundation bracelet as a guide, I ride.