About The Ride

The Ride 4 Jess is a mechanism to raise funds for the National Brain Tumor Society for research, patient advocacy and awareness.

All funds collected for the Ride 4 Jess will be directly donated to the NBTS - Brain Tumor Walk DFW.

To learn more about the brain tumor society; click HERE.

History Behind The Cause/Ride:

Jessica and I met the summer before seventh grade at Forestwood Middle School in Flower Mound, Texas .  She was the “new” girl and we all knew that the “new” girl was the high school football coaches daughter.  She was skinny with long legs and braces…. A little awkward but so was I so I knew we would be instant friends.  We instantly gravitated towards each other during that volleyball practice.  Neither of us were really good with coordination so as the other girls either excelled or miserably failed; we were somewhere in the middle together.
That was August. 

By September we were inseparable. 

We were so glued to each other’s hips, in fact, we often spent many school nights at each other’s houses.  My parents didn’t mind if I spent the night there b/c her mom was the high school nurse and her dad the football coach, so it was highly unlikely we would stay up too late and miss school the next day.  She lived in the neighborhood across the street from our middle school so we were able to walk but nine times out of ten her mom dropped us off.

Jess’ family quickly became my family.  Her mom was my mom and I was a staple at their house for chicken enchilada night and crescent chicken night.  (Those are my two favorite dishes of her mothers.)  Her dad was just as protective of me as my own father; even more so since he knew all the boys in school (and heard them talk in the locker room) and her siblings became my little sister and brother too.  I tormented them like she did, played with them like Jess did, and overall loved her family as if they were my own; blood doesn’t necessarily make you family.

Over the years we formed to be one unit.  Jess and Al.  It wasn’t likely through the high school years that we did anything without each other.  She was a cheerleader and I was a basketball player (not a good one at that) Both, Sarah and Jess were cheerleaders and Amber was the mascot… inevitably it made sense for me to DO SOMETHING with the cheer squad.  I can’t tumble, I’m not very good at cheering and the mascot places were taken…so I was the manager.

It ended up being the best thing I did. I would easily say I had one of the best high school experiences any 14-17 year old kid could have.  Most of that was attributed to my friendship with Jess.

After high school we went to the University of North Texas together; where, after first semester we convinced our parents we would do better if we lived on campus.  (They seriously believed this) We moved into the dorm together on campus at UNT and proceeded to have one of the most fun yet most unproductive college semesters anyone could have … EVER. 

She was the one person who, literally, knew every inch of my soul.  I didn’t have one secret from her.  Not one.  She was the one person; no matter what, you could have a conversation with, the topic didn't matter, and her big green eyes would never pass judgment.  She was the kindest, dearest, truest soul and was much wiser than her years.

When I found out that she was diagnosed with brain cancer my world was forever altered.  Saying this out loud makes it sound silly compared to the way her life and her families life was altered, but the world as I knew it with my best friend changed.

We would soon be having lunch over long hours of chemo or after a session of radiation.  We would now talk about her medications rather than what bar we were going to that weekend or what double-date nights we had planned.  It forever altered our conversations, the underlying importance of our friendship and it shook me to the core.

It never really hit that my best friend had a terminal illness.  Jess was sick, but she carried her self in a way that never led you to believe she was sick. She was strong, steadfast in her beliefs, and completely unwavering in her Christianity.  She always said “God would never give me anything I can’t handle”

She not only was my best friend, my biggest supporter and the person who knew, literally everything about me – she was someone I looked up to.

I loved her because she was funny, I loved her because she was smart, I loved her because she was exactly how I would want to carry myself if something so devastating happened to me. 

I want people to know Jess through her legacy of grace, resolute understanding of life and God’s plan for her, her selflessness and above all a wonderful testament to her parents of what a fantastic human being she truly was. 

She wrote in a journal and one quote that has remained so important to me; and gives you, who don’t know her a window to look into what an AWESOME person she was, was this:

“God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about. I don’t want to waste this day.”

She loved her family, her friends, her God and above all else she made sure we knew it.

The ride is a simple way I can raise awareness since Jess can't.  Where I can raise funds to help those patients and families and friends who are fighting like she and her family and friends did.

It's a way I can leave her legacy for you to know and remember.

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