• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2023
  • Hometown: San Benito, TX

About: Hey! Howdy! Hola! ​​Kamusta! What a pleasure it is to have you on my page, please stick around here to hear my story, and while you’re here please check out some of the other 2023 riders! Before we get to it, let me introduce myself.

I’m a 3rd year Nutritional Science major originally from the RGV but just recently moved to San Antonio, TX (Puro 956, Go Spurs Go). On campus, I’m involved in Longhorn EMS, where I serve as Captain for a group of rambunctious EMTs and Habitat for Humanity where I spend my days advocating for affordable housing in Austin. Some other notable gigs include being a former Texas Tour Guide as well working as an EMT at Six Flags (stop by and I promise to hook you up with a Bugs Bunny Bandaid). Outside of school I love the outdoors, evaluating Coffee Shops via Google Form, cooking eggplant, and jamming out with old friends on the uke, guitar, or the fan favorite, the kazoo.

If you know me, you know I cry easily and am very sentimental - if not, consider this a fair warning. I’m ecstatic to pursue this journey with Texas 4000, and am grateful for any support, help or encouragement I can get. Thank you for reading my page and for officially being apart of this wicked journey in the fight against cancer.

Why I Ride

I’ve always considered myself a lucky person. My family has no history or genetic predisposition to cancer, I haven’t lost anyone immediately close to cancer, and I’ve never had experienced the burden of cancer directly affecting my life. This was until October 2021, about a day before the Texas 4000 application was due, when I had gotten a call from my uncle/father in heart/best friend- Tito Paul that had completely changed my life.

I grew up in a small condominium - just me and my mom in the big city of St. Louis, MO. My dad was seldom around and my mom typically worked long hours, which meant I’ve had my fair share of babysitters at the time. I longed for siblings, cousins, close family friends, or even just a small-town community when things got pretty lonesome. This inspired my mom to have us move to Texas to live closer to family, specifically my aunt and uncle. They took me in and helped raise me as they didn’t have children of their own. My uncle, Tito Paul, especially took on a father figure in my life. He taught me everything I know from hunting, fishing, carpentry, how to change a tire, hustle someone at the pool - the list goes on and on. He had enough love and compassion that made me consider him my dad more than any DNA or blood test could dictate.

About a few months ago, Tito Paul had noticed some intense pain along his back and numbness along his right leg. He does have a history of chronic back pain from several herniated discs he has, which biased the first ER doctor and only sent him home with morphine. It wasn’t until two months later, when the pain reached excruciating levels, that he got a second consult and ultimately found out there was a tumor in his kidney and spine that were fracturing his vertebrae. Just only a day before writing this very personal statement, did I learn that my Dad in heart has stage four renal cancer that has metastasized to his spine and to his pelvis.

On my ankle, I have tattooed “I would walk 500 miles” while Tito Paul’s ankle has “And I would walk 500 more." He and I danced to this song covered by Sleeping at Last during my father-daughter dance for my 18th Debut birthday (as part of Filipino tradition). This song resembled our relationship, noting that no matter the distance, we were always going to be there for each other.

I plan to live up to this promise in Summer 2023, as in Tito Paul's honor, I will ride 4,000+ miles. This ride will be for him, in recent memory of my Great Uncle, Lolo Rolando, in memory of my Aunt, Tita Grace, and in memory of my grandfather, Lolo Angel.

For you, I will bike 4000 miles.

To Alaska and back,