On August 18 and 19, the MS Bike – West Kootenay Challenge returns to Lakeside Park to raise funds and hope to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Approximately 100 cyclists will take part in this two-day weekend ride that will have them travel between 137 km and 161 km, heading to Crescent Valley on the first day of the tour, and Procter on the second day.
New Denver cyclist Richard James has participated in the event every year since it started in 2011. His wife Barbara lives with primary progressive MS.
"I participate in the MS Bike – West Kootenay Challenge yearly as a demonstration of my commitment to the cause of finding a cure for MS," he said.
Since Barbara's diagnosis in 1988, the disease has limited the couple from doing some of their favourite activities.
"As much as we don't like to admit it, we are unable to participate in a lot of activities in our community of friends and neighbours," said James. "We used to be the first couple on the dance floor, now we do not go to dances."
A cure would mean "joy" for James.
"I want my wife to have hope that a cure will be found,” said James. “I want to have hope that a cure will be found and that the two of us can weather the storm of MS."
Jillian Earl, Development Coordinator for MS Bike - West Kootenay Challenge, says a lot of their riders and donors have loved ones living with MS who are passionate about and deeply committed to the cause. She likes to remind them that there is hope on the horizon.
“Thanks to the support of sponsors, partners, and participants of MS Bike, we are able to continue investing in research dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for all people affected by MS. Together, a future free of MS is achievable,” says Earl.
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with an estimated 1 in 385 Canadians living with the disease. The MS Bike – West Kootenay Challenge is a fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. Funds raised support innovative research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS as well as provide valuable services, programs and advocacy for Canadians affected by MS.
For more information and to register as a cyclist, or volunteer, visit www.msbike.ca.