UT Students Ride 4000 Miles to Fight Cancer

Meet the students and find out why they ride.

Texas 4000

This year marks the 15th anniversary of UT students participating in the longest annual charity bike ride in the world.

Texas 4000 cultivates student leaders and engages communities to promote cancer awareness.

To date, UT students have raised more than $8 million to fight cancer riding 4,000-plus miles from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska.

This year more than 60 students are riding for 70 days along three routes across the country.

Students left Austin on June 1 and will finish the journey on August 10.

You can view their progress, donate to fight cancer or send words of encouragement to students and teams on the Texas 4000 Website. Students are also blogging along their journey.

Meet some of the Longhorn students working to create a cancer-free future with every mile.

Linda Castranova

Route: Rockies
Major: Business Honors
School year: Sophomore 
Hometown: Coppell, Texas

Why I Ride:
“My heart has ached for my brothers and sisters worldwide affected by this disease. It has been broken watching cancer take the life out of my grandfather, Jojo. I am riding for my grandfather. I am riding for people whose stories I have not yet heard, or will never get to hear. Although it will not be easy, I consider it a privilege to be pushed and grow alongside ambitious people, each with their own story and motives behind Texas 4000. It is a privilege to be able to fight in my own little way, to catch a glimpse of the 'fight' people encounter every day—to ultimately choose joy. It is a privilege to ride.”

Read more about Linda.

Jimena Gamboa Bonilla

Route: Ozarks
Major: Supply Chain Management
School Year: Senior
Hometown: Bogota, Columbia

Why I Ride:
“To me, health should be a human right, regardless of who you are or where you come from. I want to take action and bridge the economic gap that can perhaps change one life or two. One unique thing about cancer is that it does not discriminate; it will infect anyone. But some people's lack of resources causes some of them to be more vulnerable to it. I empathize with the victims and the survivors, and now I am taking action. I ride to change the narrative of our generation."

Read more about Jimena.

Jacob Herstein

Route: Sierra
Major: Biology
School Year: Junior
Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Why I Ride:
“My maternal grandfather, Gustav Weiner, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in late 2011. Subsequently, my family relocated him to Dallas so that we could provide better care for him, only to discover that he also had prostate cancer and bladder cancer. I intend to ride for the identities of cancer patients worldwide, simply because they are so much more than that. Far too often, our loved ones are reduced to their sicknesses; we forget that they are our grandparents, cousins, family friends, and so on, and instead we view them just as patients. Cancer does not define who you are, and I am excited to ride with Texas 4000 in order to spread that message.”