- Route: Smoky-mountains
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Buda, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences - Audiology
- Email: [email protected]
Hi!! My name is Brooke, and I'm a junior speech, language and hearing sciences major from Buda, TX. I love traveling, book stores, and anything blue. In my free time you can usually find me hanging out with my friends and roommates, re-reading/re-watching Harry Potter, or trying to find the best cup of coffee in Austin. Outside of Texas 4000, I volunteer at Austin Speech Labs and am involved in Texas THON.
Why I Ride
Cancer has been a part of my life and my family’s life for as long as I can remember. When I was young, both of my parents’ dads were diagnosed with cancer within a few years of each other. At the time, it was hard to fully understand the weight of the situation. I now realize how much this has affected my parents, my grandmothers, the rest of my family and even me. Cancer affects people in ways that you could never imagine it would. I am riding for all the crazy ways that this disease shapes families’ lives.
My mom’s dad, Steve, or as my cousin and I called him “Guy,” recently passed away after battling cancer for 9 years. He did not lose his fight. He owned it for years and lived a life that he may have never lived if it were not for his diagnosis. As a paratrooper, he jumped out of planes, and that is how he chose to live: with lots of courage, excitement, and thrills. I hope to always live like this. I will be reminded of all the strength and child-like joy he showed throughout his life while I carry his story to the finish line in Alaska.
Growing up I was a cheerleader and I went to tumbling every weekend for years. My coach is so funny and very tough. He would always ask “are you trying your hardest right now?” something that I continue to ask myself each day. I really learned a lot about pushing yourself and getting over mental blocks, which I can only imagine is going to play a big part in this ride. Last year, I found out that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Each and every mile on the bike I will be riding for him and all that he has taught me about resiliency.
During the process of interviewing for Texas 4000, I found out that my high school geography teacher passed away from colon cancer. She was arguably one of the coolest people ever. She not only was an awesome teacher but mentored one of my favorite teachers and people. They had a friendship that some people wait their whole life to find. I am not only riding for everyone who is fighting cancer but the loved ones, whose lives are also turned upside down with a diagnosis.
Riding a bike to Alaska and making the personal sacrifices that come along with it are things that are, yes, crazy. But also things that I am doing to show everyone that I am riding for that there are people who are there for them, understand what they are going through, and are here to fight alongside them.
I ride for my teammates and the stories they carry.
For family and friends.
For the beauty of our world.
For shared stories and stories that are too difficult to share.
For the hard parts of life.
For hope, knowledge, and charity.
I ride for people that rally around each other when we need it most.
I’m so grateful that I get the opportunity to carry people and their stories to Alaska with me. Please reach out to me ([email protected]) and let me know who I can ride in honor of. We dedicate every meeting and ride to people who are affected by cancer, I would love to add your loved ones to my list of people who I’m fighting for.
To Alaska and back,