• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2021
  • Hometown: Allen, TX

About: Hi my name is Alex! Outside of academics and my career aspirations, I enjoy reading, wake boarding (like snowboarding but on water behind a boat), biking, bowling, laying in hammocks when the weather is nice, and spending time with family and friends. I am pursuing a B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on families and personal relationships. As of right now, I plan to get a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and ultimately become a licensed therapist. I have always found joy in listening to others and being there to comfort, console, and counsel. Whether I end up on the exact career path that I plan or on an entirely different adventure, as long as I am able to help people, I believe my life will be fulfilling. I long questioned what it meant to be truly passionate about something. I ultimately arrived at the following conclusion: being passionate about something is to have such an intense love and drive for something that you never want to stop, no matter the obstacles. The things that I am passionate about give me incredible drive. They are the priorities in my life. I have long been passionate about my family and helping others, but this past year I have discovered a passion for fighting cancer through education and awareness. Texas 4000 is an amazing opportunity that I am incredibly grateful to be a part of. It is allowing me to take part in something much larger than myself. I am incredibly grateful and excited to has this opportunity to make such a profound impact in the lives of other people.

Why I Ride

“Cancer”, a life changing, body numbing word. The type of word that when heard can turn someone’s life upside down in an instant. I saw firsthand the pain that cancer causes when members of my own family became sick. With terminal cancer, even the strongest feelings of hope wither. Initially you don’t believe it. One second they’re fine, and the next, they are not. It is shocking to the point of disbelief. I watched the hope drain away and the deep sorrow set in within my family. To even process what was happening was remarkably hard. Seeing this happen to my family has instilled a need to prevent this from happening to others. I wanted to do something, and Texas 4000 became my something. I can’t bring back those who I have lost, but helping raise money toward awareness and research is something I can do. I can make a difference in someone else’s life. Prevent another family from going through what mine did. Most family members of cancer victims have intense feelings of despair and helplessness. I ride so others may never have to hear the word “cancer”. So they may never feel that same despair and helplessness that comes from watching your loved one suffer and die.
I have begun my journey in fighting cancer by increasing my own knowledge of cancer. My mom is an OB/GYN Attending at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. She sees firsthand the devastating effects of gynecologic cancer, more specifically cervical cancer. Through her, I have learned how easy cancer screening can be, but how little her patients know about or get it done. Sadly, if women received the appropriate medical care with screening pap smears starting at age 21 and the HPV vaccine, 99% of cervical cancer could be prevented. Most of the women that die of cervical cancer are low income minorities that don’t understand how to navigate the medical system to access preventative care and haven’t been educated as to what the appropriate preventative care even is. A disproportionate number of these women are from rural or underserved urban areas where statistically they have limited access to health care and health education. I am inspired to empower and educate women, especially in underserved areas, and help eliminate barriers to access. I will ride in 2020 to spread knowledge and awareness that HPV is a virus that causes cancer. Knowledge is power and if I can inspire one woman to make a gynecologist appointment for a pap smear or get the HPV vaccine I am potentially saving her life.
I am inspired to ride in 2020 because it will give me a platform to spread my message of cancer awareness and prevention across the country, Canada and where it is most desperately needed in rural America. I am just one person but I can make a difference. Those that were lost in my family didn’t have preventable cancer, but other people do. I don’t want to just sit around while people continue to die from a preventable disease. I want to spread awareness and knowledge of preventative lifesaving tests. I want to show people that even if they are poor, there are resources in their community that can help them. There is hope for awareness and prevention for all, we just have to be persistent, strong and unified in our fight to achieve it. Every donation that I receive is significant and makes a difference in the fight against cancer. Together, we can and will transform the lives of many women and their families. Without all of you this would not be possible, thank you.

I Ride For:
My Great Uncle Charlie
My Great Uncle Gill
Stacie's Uncle Ken
Dawn Hollis
Theresa Green
Hollis Wakefield