• Route: Unassigned
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

About: Hello!!

My name is Alissa, I am from Dallas- Fort Worth, and I am a 3rd year biology student from UT Austin. I love exploring new coffee shops, playing with my roommate's cat (Toby), and spending quality time with friends and family :). I am currently trying to get into rock climbing, lifting, and cooking.

After graduating UT, I plan on taking a gap year to help those who are medically underserved in my hometown before going into medical school. Having personally experienced health barriers, I am committed to bridging the gap in access to care and reducing health disparities.

One way I wanted to fulfill this goal was by joining Texas 4000!

I am deeply honored to be part of this organization and to help those impacted by cancer.

Why I Ride

For me, family has always been of utmost importance. The term to me is more than just blood relations with a group of people. It represents a collective of people, regardless of where we all come from and who we might be. It is a bond built from compassion, love, and support. It is how I see the cancer community- as a family that strives to fight for a common goal.

Cancer is a difficult journey, where patients and those related often lean on each other for support. I want to better assist these communities by being involved in Texas 4000, to spread charity, knowledge, and hope to the families here in Austin, all the way to Anchorage, and beyond.

My experience with cancer involves my Aunt. The person, whom I loved dearly and treated me like her own, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of the progression of the cancer, she and her family moved to be closer to her parents. The lady, whom I was so accustomed to seeing every week, had suddenly vanished.

When I was young, my parents never disclosed the situation to me, and it wasn't until years later that I learned about it. Upon receiving the news, I felt confused and unsure of how to respond. I wished I could’ve offered better support somehow during such a hard time in her life but I was so young then. What could I have done? What could I still do now for those dealing with similar situations?

While reading Lifelines, by Dr. Wen, about her own mother going breast cancer, I gained a deeper appreciation for the challenges my own aunt likely faced while battling the disease. One quote in particular from Dr. Wen's book resonated with me, in which I have also gleaned from many others in the cancer community is that with "pain drives passion, and with passion comes purpose." Dr. Wen found her purpose in advocating for the importance of accessible and preventative cancer screening- to spare a person from going through what she herself went through.

Reading this book made me reflect on my time working at a low cost clinic. At the clinic, I saw first hand the importance of taking preventative measures. I came across a patient who was devastated because she was recently diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer. While working at the clinic, I later found that the specific patient had concerning findings years prior. Due to the cost of having to take time off work, as well as the cost of the screening, she decided to not follow-up until she was financially equipped to obtain any sort of care. From this, I wondered how many people were going through this or even avoiding healthcare all together due to these factors.

During my time at the clinic, I wanted, so badly, to help that patient and many others in similar situations, but didn’t know how to. I could only do so much in comforting and informing patients; but felt a need to do more.

After reading Dr. Wen’s book and witnessing disadvantaged patients going through preventable hardships- I too was able to find my purpose. The purpose to not only fighting for accessible and preventative healthcare, but also towards spreading awareness and understanding to those who haven’t been affected by cancer.

I want to use my energy and put my efforts towards those who feel that they have no voice, and to those who are unable to help themselves. Texas 4000 will provide me the opportunity to fulfill this purpose.

I want to ride for the pillars; hope, knowledge, and charity.

Spreading hope to communities to show individuals that they are heard and that they are cared for. To let them know that they aren’t alone in this battle against cancer.

Spreading knowledge and learning more about cancer and all that comes with it; the emotional burden, the strength of others, and their grit. I want to play a part in teaching underserved communities the importance of healthcare and preventative measures.

Spreading charity to give to those who are dealing with this disease and may fall short. To lend a helping hand to families who are ill-equipped. To support cancer innovation and research.

Finally, I want to ride for my aunt and all those impacted by breast cancer and all other forms of cancer.

Feel free to contact me and share your stories, or even drop me a text (at 6825568120) just to say hello! Your story holds great significance, and I will keep them in my thoughts as I embark on my journey in Texas 4000.

To Alaska and back!
Alissa Nguyen