I ride for those who can’t, for those I love, and for those in desperate need of hope.
I ride for one of my closest friends, Nick Sanchez, who has had family pass away because of this terrible disease. I’ve witnessed him torn apart because of it. Watching someone you have known and loved for years struggle through the kind of pain I have seen Nick struggle with is heartbreaking. In empathizing with him, I began battling sadness and hopelessness myself. Through self-reflection on my emotions, I came to the conclusion that cancer may only biologically AFFECT one person, but its EFFECTS branching out from that person have no bounds. It has a way of snaking its way into peoples’ lives that are numerous parts removed from the individual that is physically fighting it. By way of this expansive strategy, cancer will never be an isolated struggle. Cancer affects the human family, so as a human family we have to retaliate. I ride to let cancer survivors, their family, and their friends know that there are others that care enough fight hopelessness with them.
I ride for my girlfriend of three and a half years, Brooke Garza, and every individual in her family that has fought the good fight against cancer. Brooke has an amazingly strong family that has been touched by multiple types of cancer. It terrifies me to think that one day, it might be her with this disease. If you have done your own research about cancer prevalence, you know this: many people that have not yet had very personal experiences with cancer, one day probably will. That is the scary truth about cancer. However, more than I am terrified for Brooke’s life, I feel empowered by the way she lives it daily. I ride because I can’t sit back and wait to see whether or not cancer decides to poke its head into our lives.
My love for these people and for so many more, lit a fire inside my heart, and I needed to find a way to resist cancer in a productive, tangible way. This is when I was introduced to Texas 4000. There are no values more relevant to the fight against cancer than Texas 4000’s three pillars to share hope, knowledge, and charity. After hearing the Texas 4000 mission and the very real ways in which they accomplish their cancer-fighting goals, I knew I had to be a part of this team.
You and I, no matter how close we are to cancer formally, need to be part of the fight to end it. If we stand against it together, cancer stands no chance, but only together can we win at all. The responsibility of this battle lies on the shoulders of those with the strength and ability to act in a positive way. I ride because I have the strength to pedal from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska and not everyone affected by cancer does. Since I can use my actions to support, use my voice to educate, use my time to fundraise, and use my legs to bike 4000 miles to Alaska, I will.
The fight against cancer will be won by people doing what they can for the cause, and that is why I ride.