May of 1990 is a month that I will never forget...
I received a call from my brother-in-law telling me that my sister Lynne had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis earlier that day. My first reaction was what is that, and how do we fix it. Little did I know that at that time not a lot was known about M.S., and there was no treatments or cure for this disease. I started to think back about all the health issues my sister was having leading up to her diagnoses. She endured the pain of two Carpal Tunnel Surgeries, because they thought since her hands were numb it must be from the typing she did. I also looked on when we were out for dinner, and my sister, after having one glass of wine literally staggered to the washroom, hopefully unaware of the comments, and unknowing smiles that were taking place at other tables.
I am not a doctor, or scientist, but I knew to do nothing to help my sister was not an option. I heard of the M.S, Bike Tour from my Mother-in-law that was taking place later that summer. I immediately decided to join the event, and to start raising money to find a cure for this nasty disease. The first year, I was able to raise $ 750.00 for this event. Last year in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic I raised $ 48,152.00. The cure for M.S., although closer, has still not been found. I will be participating until that day arrives. This will be my 31st consecutive year riding in the Grand Bend to London Tour, the only participant to have accomplished that.
Sadly, on November 25th, 2018, Lynne, my sister, and inspiration lost her battle with Mutiple Sclerosis. I was asked by many if I would stop fund raising for M.S. My reply to them, and to all that read this letter is this. If I stop, M.S. will win. I will NOT let M.S. win.
A future without MS
I've registered for the MS Bike Tour to fulfil a personal challenge, and to help the MS Society fund research, advocate for change, and help people with MS and their families. The MS Society is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services, and the MS Bike Tour has been a critical part of the MS Society's fund raising efforts for over 28 years. Proceeds from this event and others like it provide support and services to help those living with this disease, their families and caregivers. They also fund research with three primary goals: to find a cause and cure for MS, repair nervous system damage caused by MS and stop MS attacks. By supporting me, you too can make a difference in the life of someone with multiple sclerosis.
I am part of the MS Bike Tour because I believe in a future without multiple sclerosis – and with your help we can get there. Please give generously.