Over the course of his decades-long medical career, MS Bike ambassador Dr. Jim Noiles has been inspired by many individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Hearing their stories firsthand motivated him to become a Volunteer Committee member for the MS Society of Canada – BC & Yukon Division in the West Kootenays and take part in region’s annual MS Bike Tour for the past nine years.
Typically, the MS Society of Canada and the MS community come together each summer to hold MS Bike events across the country to strive towards the vision of a world free of MS.
In a year that has presented a series of unique challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the measures implemented by Canada’s health experts, the West Kootenay MS Bike ride will look slightly different than year’s previous.
On Saturday July 25 and Sunday July 26, thousands of MS community members across Canada will take part in the Virtual MS Bike Challenge to raise vital funds, create awareness and support leading-edge research for Canadians affected by MS and their families.
As part of his own Virtual MS Bike initiative, Dr. Noiles will take to his bike for the online ride to continue advocating for change and raise funds for much-needed MS research. Though he’ll miss the infectious enthusiasm and passion that each rider brings to the in-person gathering, his commitment to the cause remains as strong as ever.
“In many ways, I want to be a voice for individuals with MS whose lives, and those of their families, have been so significantly impacted,” says Noiles.
“I’ve had many patients with MS that I have cared for in the past that I developed relationships with that impacted me deeply. I wanted to help them further and bring awareness outside of my medical practice, which led me to become an active member of the MS community through the MS Bike.”
This year, he and his tour group The Rear Guard have already raised over $7,100 to assist people living with MS in southeastern B.C. and across Canada. Despite the virtual format change, the collective strength and determination of the MS community will always provide a spark for Dr. Noiles.
“My fondest memories that I take away every year is riding with individuals and working with volunteers who are living with MS,” explains Noiles.
“Their determination, resolve, and hope motivates each and every one of us. On a personal level, it underscores why I am involved with the MS Bike Ride and the greater Society to work towards a cure and motivates me all the more with my fundraising efforts.”
Like Dr. Noiles, you too can go the distance, make a difference, from anywhere. Tune in on Saturday, July 25 at 9 a.m. PDT for a live-stream rally featuring members of the MS community. This event will be in English. A live-stream rally will be held on Saturday, August 29 (time TBD) in French.
To support or join Dr. Noiles’ initiative, visit: https://bit.ly/2CKqwul
For more information and to register for Virtual MS Bike, visit msbike.ca.
For more information on MS and COVID-19, visit https://mssociety.ca/resources/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus.