Alexandre Massey

Rider Profile
HometownGurnee, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
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I was born in Park Ridge, Illinois, though I’ve definitely moved around a bit since then. What’s strange about my story is I was never big on outdoor activities when I was younger; in fact, I hated anything outside the world of reading Harry Potter and the like. When I moved to Gurnee, Illinois right before high school, I really didn’t know anybody! Needless to say, it was pretty terrifying. But once I started to get involved with student organizations like Student Council, life really took on a whole new meaning. It felt great to find caring people that were willing to spend time benefiting others, from food drives to nursing home volunteering. Gurnee also allowed me to experience a new-found appreciation for the outdoors, since it was located near so many forest preserves. I picked up biking the trails, running the streets, and definitely taking a nap or two on the open park fields near my house. Coming to the University of Illinois was another life changer for me. There are so many different things to do, so many people to meet, and so much to get involved in. I was searching for possible service organizations around campus and lit up when I saw the Illini 4000 stand on quad day. I had heard about the organization online and immediately fell in love with the idea of biking across the country, from New York to San Francisco, to aid the fight against cancer. A few things about me: I can juggle, I was part of the improv/ sketch comedy team at my high school, I love music from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, I also love starting sentences about me with the letter “I”

Personal Statement

Cancer affects almost everyone in some way, be it through personal health, family, or friends. My family has had the good fortune to escape the disease's deadly grasp, but so many others have not been so lucky. Behind heart disease, cancer is the second greatest killer in the United States, with an estimated number of deaths this year predicted to be over 500,000, according to the American Cancer Society. Be it through genetic predisposition or a harmful environment, cancer causes pain, heartbreak, and economic turmoil among those affected. Chemotherapy often causes obvious side effects, such as hair loss, but even it doesn't work in all cases. For those that are uninsured, cancer is usually only recognized after it has progressed past the point of treatment. Clearly, something needs to be done. I ride to support those affected. I ride for the hope of a cure.