I've created this page because I want to make a difference. I'm inspired by the work of Texas 4000 for Cancer and wanted to support them by raising money as part of my participation on the 2020 Texas 4000 Team riding from Austin to Anchorage all to support the fight against cancer. Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. The more people that know about Texas 4000, the greater the impact in the fight against cancer, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!
When I was 9 years old I started having seizures. One day while playing in a football game, I had a seizure. I didn’t know who or where I was and I became extremely nauseous. My parents weren’t sure what was happening, and I was rushed to the hospital. They told my family and I that they thought I was having partial complex seizures, and they needed to see if I had a brain tumor. I was scheduled to get an MRI right away. I remember being very confused, but I really remember how scared my family was. They seemed to look and talk to me completely differently and that was terrifying. I ended up having an MRI and an EEG, and fortunately there was no brain tumor. I was officially diagnosed with epilepsy and was put on medicine immediately. Five years after, I was officially cleared from epilepsy and taken off all medication. After all that happened, I remember how scared my family was and how much worse it could have been. Just the THOUGHT that I could have had brain cancer, made me appreciate how difficult a cancer diagnosis must be, especially for children. We were so lucky but I know there are many other families that are not as lucky. That is why I want to ride 4500 miles to Alaska, because no family should have to be that scared and that sad.
The second reason I want to join Texas 4000 is because 3 of my 4 grandparents have had cancer. My Grampy on my mom’s side lost his battle with cancer at age 71. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, which he beat, only to be diagnosed with bone cancer a few years later. I was young, so I don’t remember much, but I know it was a long and painful end for his life.
My grandfather on my father’s side, Papa Vince, was diagnosed with throat cancer 7 years ago. After a year of fighting the cancer through radiation treatments, he defeated it and was declared cancer free. He still has to go back every year to check his status and each time that brings a lot of anxiety for my family. Papa Vince was very lucky because he was treated at MD Anderson in Houston. It’s one of the best places in the country to be treated. My grandfather really helped me when I was going through my epilepsy, and was actually there when I had my first seizure. An opportunity like Texas 4000 allows me to ride for him and honor him as a survivor. It also would give me an opportunity to be there for him, just like he was there for me when I was a kid and I was scared.
I want to spread awareness and knowledge about cancer. I want every cancer patient to be able to get treatment like my grandfather at MD Anderson. Mammograms and prostate checks are very easy and accessible but they are still underutilized. Texas 4000 is an incredible opportunity to spread this type of awareness. Lastly, I don’t just want to spread awareness, I also want to learn more things for myself. My degree is in biomedical engineering is largely focused around cancer research, and I know a large donation goes to the BME department at UT. Texas 4000 gives me a chance to educate myself further on cancer and I have the opportunity to hear other people’s stories.