- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2022
- Hometown: Seabrook, TX
- School Year: Sophomore
- Major: Biochemistry
- Email: email@example.com
Hey peeps! I'm Gracie, and thanks for stumbling across my rider profile :)
Some random things about me...
1. I was in Girl Scouts for 12 years! I got my Bronze, SIlver and Gold Awards, was a camp counselor for a few years, and have BIG love for the organization!
2. I can play the John Cena theme song on the recorder with my nose (impressive, I know).
3. I'm a Kappa Delta at UT! #goconfidently
4. I love the TV show Glee and I have a note in my phone that's my definitive ranking of all the characters (Burt Hummel and Sue Sylvester are my #1's... if you know, you know).
5. I was a theatre kid for a VERY long time and I still love performing, musicals, plays, and general storytelling still has a very special place in my heart. I also have PLENTY of funny stories...
6. I LOVE Taylor Swift! Her entire discography is just so iconic.
7. I'm an enneagram 1 and an Aquarius!
Why I Ride
Why in the world would I want to ride a bike over 4000 miles from Austin to Alaska? Thinking about even taking a road trip that far raises some eyebrows. Well, here’s the story:
Spring of my junior year of high school, I directed a play called Wit; which details the story of Vivian, an astute and perspicacious English professor and her lonely journey through battling ovarian cancer. The play is almost entirely a monologue directly interacting with the audience, and in my opinion details the sheer desperation and unimaginable pain cancer patients go through that is usually taboo to talk about. When I first read the show I cried, and I'm not an easy crier. I was immediately struck by this honesty that depicted a side of battling cancer I never thought about, mostly because I have never been around anybody struggling with cancer.
Or at least I thought I hadn't.
You see after our opening night, a woman came up to me and gave me a huge hug, saying that this story meant a lot to her especially since her own daughter had battled cancer as a child. Her daughter was the lead, and her cancer experience had impacted their entire family, even all these years later. After her, many other people came up to me to tell me they also resonated with the loneliness exhibited by the lead character, because their best friend had battled breast cancer, or their grandfather passed away due to melanoma, or they themselves had battled any number of cancers. For the first time, I realized how far-reaching and destructive this disease can be.
While I still don’t have a close friend or loved one who’s battling cancer (and I recognize the privilege of being able to say that), helping to tell a story of cancer through theatre and listening to so many stories makes me never want someone to have to go through anything like that ever again, much less alone. I realized eradicating cancer and supporting those going through it so they don’t feel alone was something that was really important to me. When I heard about Texas 4000, it felt like a clear and tangible way to help make that happen.
I ride especially for all the people who go through cancer alone, or who feel alone because they’ve lost someone due to cancer. While I don’t have a personal connection to cancer, COVID-19 really brought to my attention the number of people who go through crises alone. Being the person who represents those who don’t think anyone is there for them is important to me. If you, or someone you know, has had cancer impact their life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at (832) 472-6873! I want to hear your stories because stories of strength like that will motivate me to do something that sounds virtually impossible: biking from Austin to Anchorage. Your story matters, and I'd be honored to carry it to Alaska with me. During my time on Texas 4000, I want to inspire hope. Loneliness often breeds hopelessness, and I want to be the person who those who feel alone can turn to and see what can happen when you hold out just a little bit longer than what you think you’re capable of.
I now realize that every single person has felt the effects of cancer one way or another, which is why Texas 4000 is such a crucial organization. It develops empathetic, resilient, and outspoken leaders ready to finally defeat a horrific disease that has ripped families and friendships apart. That’s something incredible (and, again, borderline impossible) but the spirit and inspiration of Texas 4000 doesn't make it seem so out of reach. Through hope, knowledge, and charity, Texas 4000 changes lives in the long term. That’s something worth prioritizing. That’s something worth supporting.