Texas 4000 journeys through Brownwood on route to Alaska

On their trek from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, the Coastal team of Sense Corp Texas 4000 for Cancer came through Brownwood Sunday with 26 of the 53 riders involved in this fundraising event. The Sense Corp Texas 4000 for Cancer is the longest charity bike ride in the world. 53 riders are pedaling over 4,500 miles on a journey that takes place from June 5 through August 13, 2010. This grueling ride takes determination, support, strength and dedication, and represents a metaphor for the battle against cancer.

The riders hope to accomplish a few things along the route. On their website, www.Texas4000.org, they explain their mission to share hope, knowledge, and charity from Texas to Alaska and beyond:

“We share hope by letting those touched by cancer know that people like us are riding for them and are determined to eliminate the disease. We share knowledge by bringing life-saving information about cancer prevention to communities large and small. We share charity by making a commitment to support cancer research and lead the charge in overcoming cancer.”

They also state that they ride for those fighting cancer, in memory of those lost to cancer, in support of those caring for loved ones suffering with cancer and that they ride to a future without cancer. Together they have raised over $279,000 to benefit cancer research.

AshtonDippel2One rider has some strong ties to Brownwood, her grandparents Billy and Elaine Dippel. Ashton Dippel, Rockies 2010 Team, has ridden 350 miles and raised $4,555. Ashton wrote the following in her biography:

Where do I start…I am from Menard, TX, which is a small town, and when I say small, I mean very small—population 1,606 to be exact. I graduated with a class of 33 (no joke), and spent my weekends driving down dirt roads and making 45-minute trips to the next town with a Sonic, just to turn around and drive back. Life in a town with only one stoplight has made me into the well-rounded woman I am today. My sister (17) is my best friend and is supportive of “almost” everything I do. My parents have been my backbone from day one and instilled in me the important values of doing my best and never giving up. The small community of Menard has become my second family and I always have someone to turn to. Attending a 1A high school of about 100 students total, I was able to participate in all sports and UIL programs. This has given me the chance to experience many challenges and accomplishments that most students in 4A and 5A schools never have the chance to. Becoming a student at the University of Texas was an adjustment, but has opened my eyes and expanded my horizons. From predator hunting to cheering at football games to snowboarding in Whistler, B.C., I feel that I have been fortunate to experience a plethora of different adventures. Even with this, I am up for an even greater challenge that will fulfill my heart.

I ride for Carolyn German (July 20, 1995 – April 2008)

For four years our family’s hunting business has worked with Brigid O’Donoghue, founder of the U.S.S.A. (United Special Sportsman Alliance) and provides a critically ill or disabled child with a chance to hunt. During Christmas break of 2007, Carolyn German and her family were sent to us by Brigid and left an impact on our entire family. Carolyn was diagnosed with Rhabdomayosarcoma (RMS). She was accompanied by her father, mother and younger brother. During the few days that they stayed with us, I developed a strong bond with this family; one that I never thought possible with someone I had just met. Carolyn had the positive spirit of any normal kid and didn’t seem to let her illness stop her from living her life. After she and her family returned to their hometown, Tomball, TX, I continued to keep in touch with them. That February, Carolyn was admitted to the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Her tumor had taken over every internal organ in her body and was now growing outside of her. My mom and I made the five-hour drive to Houston to let Carolyn know that we had not forgotten about her. It was a surprise visit and even though Carolyn was dependent on high doses of morphine, she managed to show that high spirit and positive attitude. She allowed us to see where the tumor was exiting her small, frail body, which left my mother and I speechless. Usually cancer is an unseen silent killer, but I was able to see the actual thing that was taking over this young girl’s body, this thing that is ultimately killing her. It was as if you could just take it out and everything would be fine, but we all know it is not that simple. In April 2008 Carolyn passed away.

I will never forget what she had said to me during that time I spent with her during her hunting trip. She said, “You just gotta keep on moving and try your hardest to, you know, still be there and…I don’t know how to say it or put it in words, but…just keep on going I guess.” Her bravery and positive attitude touched my family and me forever. In life’s cruel and unpredictable scheme, some of the most suffering is endured by the tiny and the frail. People like Carolyn, so many times, find a way to reveal to the world the true meaning of something we take for granted—life itself. Living every day like there is no tomorrow.

There are so many people like Carolyn who are taken from this Earth long before their time. They are the ones who I ride for.

Each year’s team includes students of science, art, literature and engineering, residents of small towns and of big cities, most who are new to cycling. We hail from all walks of life, but the three things that bind the team together are a desire to find a cure for cancer, prevent cancer through education, and bring hope to those affected by cancer.

TX4000Ride3The Rockies Team

Travels in legs of 37-113 miles per day, raised over $140,000 and is made up of:
Andrea Austin of Mission, TX
Dyar Bentz of Grandview, TX
Joel Bixler of Albuquerque, NM
Brett Bowlin of Snyder, TX
Jordan Deathe of Austin, TX (Survivor of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma)
Ashton Dippel of Menard, TX
Kelsey Edmondson of Clear Lake, TX
John Fitch of El Campo, TX
Kristen Hattaway of San Antonio, TX
TX4000Ride6Wilson Ho of Richardson, TX
Natasha Immaraj of Sugar Land, TX
Brittany Kinard of Dallas, TX
Samuel Kutscha of Texas
Jinyang Liang of Yueyang, China
Mahek Mehta of Bombay, India
Shilen Patel of Cypress, TX
Kate Petty of Rochester, MN
Andrew Porter of Austin, TX
Allie Rathert of Houston, TX
Jack Reynolds of Coleman, TX
Kathryn (Kate) Simpson of Wichita Falls, TX
Roseann (Rosie) Trevino of San Antonio, TX
Austin VanTine of Lake Ozark, Missouri
Lauren Waldrop of Cypress, TX
Daniel Walk of New Orleans, LA
Kelly Webeck of West Lafayette, Indiana
Whitney Yang of Pflugerville, Texas

TX4000Ride4The Coastal Team

Travels in legs of 42-113 miles per day, raised over $135,000 and is made up of:
Arvin Akhayan of Dallas, TX
Nathan Boes of Arlington, TX
Basia Borodziewicz of Plano, TX
Gabriel Cintron of Harlingen, TX
Ana Coronell of Panama.
Mariana Fanous of Greenville, TX
Kathyrn Flowers of Arlington, TX
Marjorie Foley of Washington, DC area
Michael Gaydos
Alec Herzog of Katy, TX
Jacki Hwang of Sugar Land, TX
TX4000Ride5Amira Jensen of Sugar Land, TX
Andrew King of Dallas, TX
Angela Loya of South Texas
Tyler Mann of the Woodlands, TX
Jared Muston of Dallas, TX (survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
Emily Overfield of Houston, TX
Krisztina Petz of Texas
Erica Plummer of Katy, TX (survivor of Ewing’s Sarcoma)
Charlie Saginaw of Dallas, TX
David Santino of Queens, NY
Taylor Smith of Mansfield, TX
Paul Tavakolian of Dallas, TX
Karen Wood of Marfa, TX
Taylor Yong of Pasadena, TX
Yijiao Zhuang of Shanghai, China

By Lisa Tipton