Welcome to my Texas 4000 fundraising page and thanks a lot for visiting! My name is Colin Schroeder I am a PhD candidate in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Originally, I am from Orono, Minnesota, which is 20 miles west of Minneapolis. While growing up, I spent my summers about 2 ½ hours north of the Twin Cities in Nisswa, Minnesota, where my parents still live today. Prior to beginning my PhD, I earned a master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from UT-Austin and three bachelor’s degrees from Penn State University. My PhD research focuses on interpreting and optimizing measurements performed when oil and gas wells are drilled. After graduation, I will join the Fluid Evaluation and Sampling Technology (FEAST) team at Shell as a Petrophysicist.
During the summer of 2020, my Texas 4000 teammates and I will embark on a 70-day, 4,000+ mile cycling journey from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, in hopes of inspiring communities across North America to join us in the fight against cancer. Texas 4000 for Cancer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2004 at The University of Texas at Austin with the mission of cultivating student leaders and engaging communities in the fight against cancer. Texas 4000 shares HOPE by letting those touched by cancer know that we are riding for them, KNOWLEDGE by educating communities about cancer prevention and early identification, and CHARITY by contributing to cancer research and cancer support services across North America. Beyond the cornerstone 4,000+ mile bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, Texas 4000 is a leadership development program that is preparing the next generation of volunteers and philanthropists to lead the fight against cancer.
I first learned about Texas 4000 in 2014, shortly after beginning graduate school at UT-Austin. Texas 4000’s mission immediately resonated with me due to my mom’s diagnosis with colon cancer the previous year and the recent loss of my Aunt Rhonda to brain cancer. I actually filled out the application to join Texas 4000 every year since then – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 – but, due to my crazy and uncertain graduate school schedule, I never felt I would be able to commit the time to the organization that I thought it deserved.
In June 2017, my mom’s colon cancer treatment plan transitioned from “curing” to “managing” after her doctors discovered the cancer had spread and become inoperable. Knowing that riders from Texas 4000 would be passing through northern Minnesota about a month later, I suggested that my parents meet them, share their story, and bring along some of my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, which are literally the best cookies in the world. On July 10, 2017, my parents spent several hours getting to know the Texas 4000 riders and the following day they dedicated their 11.5-hour, 161-mile ride through northern Minnesota to my mom. Writing about this today still brings me chills. My parents’ excitement when they called after meeting the riders is something that I will never forget. They were completely blown away and inspired by the commitment the riders made to the Texas 4000 mission of sharing hope, knowledge, and charity to fight cancer. Through my parents’ experience, I can truly attest to the impact that Texas 4000 brings to individuals and communities affected by cancer throughout North America.
Ever since that day, I knew my final summer of graduate school would be dedicated to the fight against cancer. With my master’s degree complete and the end of my PhD in sight, I am thrilled and completely honored to be a member of the 2020 Texas 4000 for Cancer team. Together we can fight for a cancer-free future. Thank you so much for all of your love, encouragement, and support!
Every morning of the 70-day cycling journey from Austin to Anchorage begins with riders gathering in a circle to reflect on Texas 4000’s mission to fight cancer. Everyone shares their ride dedications for the day, which are usually made in honor of a loved one or someone they met along the road who previously fought or is currently fighting cancer. Whether or not you choose to make a donation, if there is anyone in your life that has been affected by cancer or that you would like me to ride for, I encourage you to reach out and share your story with me at Colin.Schroeder@utexas.edu. Between now and June 2020 when my ride begins, I am looking forward to hearing your stories and adding ride dedications for each day of my journey from Austin to Anchorage.
To Alaska and Back,