Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why Do You Bike MS?

Caroline B (left) and Me around 2003
It has been quite a few months since my last post. Most of you will understand that it can be quite difficult to find the energy at times to sit down at the computer for extended periods of time. Boston has been having a heat wave - as I think a large portion of the US has - and that makes it even more difficult to want to do anything really.
I wanted to make a special effort though, to tell you about my friend Caroline B. who lives in Oregon. For the 4th year she is participating in Bike MS, partially in my honor. She is a strong, caring and amazing woman that I am proud to call my friend. She has also found a passion to find a cure for MS and I am inspired by her, and all the Bike MS participants.
Below is Caroline B in her own words and if you feel you would like to donate to Caroline's efforts to fundraise, please go to her personal, secure page here to do so. Bike MS Willamette Valley is August 5th to August 7th. There are many routes that can be taken depending on how many miles you choose to ride. Here is more information about the different routes, so you can get an idea of how much dedication this event takes. Find the route information here. The route passes through natural wildlife preserves, historic towns, farmlands and back roads of Willamette Valley's finest countryside. Doesn't that sound amazing in it's self?

Our story was also featured in the National MS Society's blog Defeat MS about a month ago. You can read it here.

Why do you Bike MS? 

Caroline Kyriakou and I started out as pen pals way back in seventh grade. We powered through the challenges of adolescence together, comforted by late-night hand-written musings (this was before cell phones, and long distance wasn't free back then), and the music of Tori Amos. But at the age of 26, my good friend encountered an entirely new challenge: Multiple sclerosis (MS). For Caroline, MS has produced a myriad of roadblocks--extensive fatigue, vision abnormalities, and intermittent trouble with walking even short distances.

Rather than being overwhelmed, Caroline has decided to do everything in her power to find more effective treatments and a cure.
She leads a Walk MS team, started a support group, writes an online blog about managing through the disease, has been published in three books and even appeared on her local news station to share her story. Caroline’s relentlessness has inspired so many, including me. Her determination led me to take action. That’s why I joined Bike MS.

Through the event, I met so many incredible people, including those on Team Amulet. This friendly, generous, and dedicated team ride on behalf of their friend Kevin. He’s a husband and father with a gritty sense of humor and a smile that warms your soul, but Kevin faces the unknown. As of now, his body hasn’t responded to any of the available treatments for MS, and that breaks my heart. Kevin’s mobility is declining rapidly and his future depends on the development of new medications which, as you might imagine, do not come cheap. In fact, research is funded by donations—large or small—from people like you and me.

Caroline B at Bike MS in 2014
How You Can Help Caroline and Kevin:
Join me and Team Amulet in supporting the National MS Society as we work together to create a world free of MS. Any donation—large or small—will help in the fight against MS. I greatly appreciate your support!

"Never Stop!  Never Quit!"  — Team Aumlet Motto

Again, here is the link to Caroline's fundraising page.

*I would like to note that information from this post have been taken from Caroline B's fundraising page and Willamette Valley's Bike MS page.