Kung Fu Saloon Rock Rose started Drinking 4 a Cause yesterday evening with 15% of the sales being donated to Texas 4000, an awesome local nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate student leaders while giving a big Kung Fu Kick to cancer.

Austinites gathered together on April 19th to play some games and have a few drinks to support rider’s like Ellen Thanheiser in their ride to fight cancer. Ellen was a recent spotlight rider for the Texas 4000. Read her story below to see why she rides.

Thanheiser is a junior, Corporate Communication major at The University of Texas. She is the Chief Panhellenic Officer for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta and a current rider for the Texas 4000 2016 Rockies Team. When asked why she decided to apply, Ellen said that she was really just looking for a way to get more involved at school and that it was her roommate who first introduced her to the Texas 4000 mission. She also says, “The sense of unity and shared goal by the members of Texas 4000 is what really got me hooked. I have a deep, emotional connection to cancer, and the idea of having an outlet for those emotions and being surrounded by people who understood what I had been through made Texas 4000 all the more appealing to me.”

Ellen says that her father, Matthew Thanheiser, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January of 2010. After fighting through the chemotherapy treatments and the hardships that inevitably come out of a cancer diagnose, Matthew is now cancer free. Ellen says that it is now her prerogative to give back to the cancer-fighting cause and show her support for all who face this same journey. She say that, “Since joining the organization I have made connections with people I didn’t know had been affected by cancer, and it has only made me realize how prevalent this disease is in our society. It has only made me want to do more.”

I think the pillar that I most identify with is HOPE. Through my experience with cancer I have realized that hope is what makes you go on with your life. It was hard for me as a freshman in high school to go to class every day when my parents were at the hospital, but I was hopeful that the treatment would work and my dad would eventually be cancer free. Obviously not everyone’s story ends as well as mine, but hope is what drives everything forward. There is hope for a better tomorrow and there is a hope for a future without cancer.”

Ellen says that it is the Texas 4000 common goal of finding a cure and spreading a message of hope that truly inspires her. “We all have a different connection to cancer and a different reason for joining, but in the end we all want to make a difference.” She says that her biggest goal for the coming ride is to bring an uplifting attitude to the organization to help encourage her teammates and lift them up throughout the ride. She says, I ride for them and with them in the fight against cancer.”

Ellen is also the 2016 Texas 4000 team’s highest fundraiser and has raised over $43,000 for Texas 4000’s mission to cultivate student leaders and engage communities in the fight against cancer! To help out with Texas 4000’s cause, visit their website here and join us at our downtown Kung Fu Saloon on Tuesday, May 3 to continue the Drink 4 the Cause.

Thanheiser and team

Thanheiser and father