- Route: Sierra
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Dallas, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: English
- Email: [email protected]
About: Hey! My name is Genny Wood and I'm a 3rd year English major from Dallas, Texas. Apart from Texas 4000, I'm involved with UT's student-run radio station, KVRX, and the campus co-op system. In my free time, I can be found reading at Barton Springs, jamming in the co-op band room, or doing yoga at Black Swan.
Why I Ride
When I’ve shared with family and friends that I’m biking 4,000 miles across America, their reactions are invariably the same: raised eyebrows, a dropped jaw, and an expression of utter disbelief. A few have called it crazy, and in all honesty, I can’t say that they’re wrong. The sheer madness of riding from Austin to Anchorage, however, is exactly what makes Texas 4000 so successful as a cancer-fighting organization. Only radical measures can combat a disease so cruelly absurd as cancer.
I ride for my grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. To summarize how special my grandma is in just a few sentences would be impossible; she is at once the strongest and most kind woman I know. She escaped from her war-torn home of Hungary to the U.S. at just nineteen and worked tirelessly throughout her lifetime to provide for my family. A difficult aspect of her diagnosis was my inability to help someone who had been there for me for my entire life, and I ride to honor her.
I ride for my amazing Pops, who embodies faith and kindness in everything he does, including his battle with lymphoma. Poppa & my equally amazing Nana are the chiefs of the tight-knit Wood family clan, and I ride to honor them & the immeasurable love and support they've given to me for my entire life.
I ride for my grandfather, who passed away in 2013. Although he died due to complications from Alzheimer’s rather than cancer, I feel that both diseases devastate its victims and their families in a similar fashion. He was an avid adventurer and outdoorsman, and I hope that he’d be proud of me for taking on this crazy challenge.
I ride for my Aunt Jane, who has fought to protect abused children and expand public education as a Texas State Senator; she's also fought against lymphoma. I ride to honor the passion, determination, and good humor she brings to every challenge she faces, whether it be personal or political.
I ride for my eighth-grade history and homeroom teacher, Bridget Cunningham, who passed away from cancer last year. She was an impossibly clever and caring person who guided me through the trials and tribulations of age thirteen. I wish I’d had the chance to tell her how much she meant to me.
I ride in hope of the elimination of health and health care disparities. Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive medical treatments than whites and often receive lower-quality care; cancer in particular is far deadlier for minority groups.
I ride for all affected by cancer. For every mile I will keep in mind my own grandma, as well as the millions of grandmas, friends, and family members of others across the world who have suffered from any variation of this terrible disease.
Thank you so much for your support as I embark on this journey! Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is someone in your life I can add to my ever-growing list of names for why I ride.
To Alaska and further,