- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2024
- Hometown: Frisco, TX
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Management Information Systems and Plan II Honors
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why I Ride
My family’s keepsake boxes, full of old family portraits and mementos, are stained with a string of lost loved ones who passed from cancer. Each photo tarnished with memories and stories of those I had never met who fought cancer, and lost. As a child, I never understood the grit, patience, and determination that came with a cancer diagnosis until Grandpa was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Grandpa never met a stranger. He was unfailingly nice to anyone he met, taking time to talk to everyone around him and truly listen. Grandpa always saw the good in other people and the light at the end of the tunnel, even during his own fight with cancer. He taught me empathy and how to take a misfortune and learn from it. Grandpa lasted four years with Cancer: four grueling years of off and on chemo, four years of visits to the hospital, four years of fighting to stay with his family— which is longer than many get. I have always asked myself, why him? But ultimately, cancer has no bounds. It takes from any age, any color, any shape, any size. It takes and it takes and it takes. However, without the privilege of being a part of a well-off, white suburban family, Grandpa would have faced a much different beast.
I ride for equal access to cancer treatment and education. I ride because there is no highly feasible, readily available, and very cost-effective route to improving cancer treatment success and cancer recovery. I ride because it is unbearable that the United States medical system favors those with privilege. I ride because access to cancer care differs drastically depending on your social and economic environment. Grandpa was privileged to afford and have access to cancer treatment, it was a luxury many cannot afford. I ride with Texas 4000 to help bridge these gaps by providing resources and funding for communities disproportionately affected by the impacts of cancer. I ride because Texas 4000 makes a difference.