• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: The Woodlands, TX

About: Hi! I am so happy that you are here! Thank you for checking out my page <3

My name is Sarah Winnier, and I am so excited to be a part of this amazing team! I am a second year studying Computational Biology. I am also pursuing the Elements of Computing and the Scientific Computation and Data Analysis certificates. I frequently get asked what all of these things mean, so to summarize I am interested in the application of technologies in biological problems. Upon graduation, I hope to attend graduate school and continue my research in computational biology to obtain a PhD. Following this, I will either work in academia to continue my research or go into the biotechnology industry.

Outside of Texas 4000- I am a Texas Tour Guide, Freshman Interest Group Mentor, Research Assistant, Peer Lab Mentor, and a Kappa Delta! A common theme within all my activities is mentorship. Throughout my time in high school and college thus far, I have been fortunate to have met many people that inspire and encourage me to fearlessly follow my crazy endeavors! If it weren’t for these people, I may have never applied to amazing opportunities like Texas 4000. Through my different positions on campus, I hope to be the person that helps others succeed in all their passions!

If I am not doing one of the activities above, you can probably find me outside exploring different parts of Austin! I love to run, hike, and paddleboard around the nature trails and Lady Bird Lake. I am also a BIG foodie- I am frequently trying new restaurants and coffee shops all around the city. I have grown to love Austin over my two years living here, and I am so grateful to go to a university in such a cool area!! Hook ‘em!

Why I Ride

I ride for the hope that one day no one will know someone with cancer. I ride for the individuals that face cancer alone. I ride for the families and friends who mourn and celebrate as their loved one goes through treatment. I ride for the scientists and health professionals who dedicate their life towards finding the next therapy. I ride for Noah Bratsch, Alissa Alcala, Uncle Bruce, Elsie Trammel Sharpe, Richard (Dick) Russell, Donna Mather, and so many more.

Many cherished childhood memories revolve around the cul-de-sac, where my neighbors and I spent countless hours playing together. Among them was Noah, whose infectious positivity brightened every moment. This energy in Noah never wavered despite his Leukemia diagnosis. We rarely got to see Noah between his blood transfusions and chemotherapy, but every time we did, he always had a smile on his face. Noah is strong and selfless and now in remission! Every day I work to be more like him. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) played a large part of Noah's success story, and their focus on research and resources enables others to be supported through their blood cancer diagnosis. Joining Texas 4000, my aim is to support others facing similar challenges and shed light on the incredible impact of nonprofits like LLS. I want to ride for Noah, so everyone can have a story just like his.

The Alcala’s have been in my life for as long as I can remember. Although not by blood, I consider them to be a part of my family. From the many years of camping trips to Thanksgivings in Florida, they have been an integral part of my upbringing. As I went to college and my parents became empty nesters, many of the text updates that I received from them were with Rob and Alissa Alcala watching the newest movie in the theater or, more commonly, eating at the nearest Mexican restaurant. These joyful updates slowed when Alissa Alcala was diagnosed with breast cancer. No one deserves to get diagnosed with cancer, but especially not Alissa. She is selfless and compassionate towards others. She is a loving friend, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is one of my role models. I watched as this diagnosis affected her, her family, and my parents. It is unbelievably hard to find joy in situations like these, but Alissa did. It is hard to think of a stronger person. A few months through rigorous treatments, she got into remission and got a super-stylish purse to celebrate. I ride so that others can find the strength that Alissa did.

I ride for my family members: Uncle Bruce, Elsie Trammel Sharpe, and Dick Russell. My uncle continues in his fight against liver cancer. I ride for his perseverance and my aunt/cousin who are some of the strongest people I know. I ride for the day that he is in remission. Elsie was my great, great grandmother who passed away from Leukemia. Dick was my great grandfather who prostate cancer took away too soon. Although I never had relationships with either of them, I have heard many stories about the legacy they left behind. They impacted the lives of many and will forever be remembered fondly. I ride for my family and those we have lost to this terrible disease.

I ride for the people that I will meet on this journey. Just this past December, I had the privilege of meeting Donna Mather. On a cruise with 4,000 people, I managed to run into Donna several times. After getting to know her a bit better, I learned she was from Alaska which prompted me to talk about Texas 4000. She shared her story and how she lost her husband and father to cancer. Just from getting to know Donna over the span of several days, I saw her strength and tenacity. She values her family and friends more than anything. I ride for Donna, her vitality, her family, and for others who have lost members of their family to cancer. If there is anyone you would like me to ride for, please email me at I would love to hear your story!

To Alaska and Back,
Sarah Winnier