An Open Letter to the Texas 4000

The Texas 4000 Ride is a fund-raiser and promotional event for cancer research projects at the M.D. Anderson Research Centers promoted by the University of Texas. The ride goes from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska and pretty much takes all summer. I want to go on the next ride, but it is geared towards students, this is my letter to the ride organizers. 

To The Texas 4000

My name is David Laguna and I am an admirer of the Texas 4000 project. I would love the opportunity to take part in the next ride.  I am not a student of the University of Texas, but I do have connections to both the University of Texas and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. I also have a very personal reason for wanting to help.

A few years ago I lost my older brother to pancreatic cancer and now I have learned I have a longtime friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Cancer took my brother Abel very quickly. In the last days of my brother’s life he encouraged me to pursue a chance to move forward in my career and not pass up any once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It was with a heavy heart that I left him to travel to an audition. Upon my arrival I learned my brother had passed. My brother Abel’s last words to me were simply “David be the bull, take charge of the chance to live your dream and know I will always be with you.”  I dedicated my efforts to him; with his inspiration I did well and was able to achieve my goal.

I am back in Texas now and now I am faced with cancer taking someone else who has been a part of my life, my friend Eddie. I met Eddie many years ago in Boy Scouts; we camped together, hiked together and played sports together all through school. We reconnected when I returned to Austin. I looked forward to sharing some time together with Eddie and now cancer has entered the picture. I’m not sure how long Eddie will be with us but I would like to do something in his honor and in honor of my brother Abel.

I understand the ride is meant for students, but as I stated I do have a connection. I have worked for UT starting in the 1980’s as an EMT at events. Today I work the home football games as security for the Touchdown Club and private suites on the 8th floor of the stadium. My other connection is with the UT/MD Anderson Cancer Center-Science Park in Smithville, Texas. My roommate is an Associate Professor and research scientist there and I have friends and acquaintances also working there. I would like to go as a representative of the wonderful and dedicated folks at Science Park.

I do have some skills and experience that I feel could prove helpful.  First I am a life-long cyclist, ex- bicycle shop owner and pro level bicycle mechanic Shimano Bicycle Components once rated in the top 10%.  In addition I am former Staff Cycling Coach for the Sally Edwards/Danskin Triathlon Camps.  I am confident I could help with any bicycle repair/rider issues that might arise.  I am also an ex-Firefighter/EMT, which could prove handy in an emergency. My other skills are as a professional photographer and writer and I hope to use those skills to chronicle the story of this ride.  Finally I am an experienced promotions and event manager with experience in radio/television promotions.  My first choice in participation would be to ride along with the riders, but I would also be open to traveling along in a support vehicle role if it better served the ride.

Please consider allowing me to be a part of the next Texas 4000.

Respectfully,

 

David Laguna

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