Hello! My name is Matt, and I'm a finance student at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a 2017 alumnus of Texas 4000 for Cancer and a member of the Triathlon Team here at UT. When I'm not on my bike, I enjoy spending time with my friends and listening to podcasts about anything you can imagine. Now let me tell you about why I ride.
When I was nine years old I watched my grandfather, who had battled prostate cancer on-and-off for several years, cross the finish line of his first MS 150 in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the tender age of sixty-four. His head was bobbing and his front wheel was weaving as dehydration exacted its revenge, but he crossed the finish line. He did not cross the line alone, however. Stamped into my memory was the image of his teammates flanking him on either side as I knew I was seeing something worth preserving, though at the time I wasn't sure what. The following April, my father decided he could certainly ride that far if his father-in-law several decades his senior had managed such a feat. In these early days being around the MS rides, what drew me in magnetically was the thrill of seeing something I knew was right for me without making the connection to why the ride mattered. This changed when I was thirteen and signed up for my first excursion from Houston to Austin and I met Michael Fagan. Mr. Fagan is the man for whom my dad, grandfather, and I all suited up to ride each April and again in October, because four days of exerting every ounce of effort can't even begin to match the challenges of living each day with multiple sclerosis. Being able to ride for Mr. Fagan and every person who is stricken by MS and has to fight their own body to move the way they desire - and doing so as three generations with my father and grandfather - will be times in my life I will always cherish. Even when I was at my most rebellious as a teenager is wont to be, the one time each year when my family was all focused solely on riding for those who cannot was April, which became my favorite time of the year. Birthdays, Christmas, holidays are special. But this was different. This was a bond my father, grandfather and I had that was beyond any other family ties.
Any support or donation, be it in person or from afar, thoughts or good vibes is greatly appreciated! Please feel free to reach out to me with any ride dedications to someone who has been affected by MS in your life, and I would be honored to carry their name with me as I ride across the United Kingdom.