Can you imagine...
Having multiple sclerosis means that one morning you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are many and vary for everyone. It's estimated that approximately 55,000-75,000 men and women in Canada have the disease, and every day about three more people are diagnosed.
...a future without MS
It’s been a changeable year on the weather front. An early heatwave was followed by times of cold winds, heavy rain and floods. Not pleasant for bike riding. Happily the weather in the recent weeks of May has meant that Club Velo Dorval has now held Tuesday evening rides in two consecutive weeks. At last I am getting into cycling spirit.
Since 2000, my supporters have enabled $43,000 to be contributed to research, clinics and services for patients, information & social action through the MS Society of Canada. Last year my sponsorship amounted to over $4000. Will you help me get to $4000 again this year?
Some people have asked me whether I am comfortable doing fundraising for the MS Society of Canada given a spate of negative news stories. My answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here is why. From the major Listening to People Affected by MS Survey in 2015 the Society heard very clearly that finding a cure, repairing damage, reversing effects, treatments and symptom management are all important to people affected by MS for improving quality of life. In order to devote more resources to these MS-specific priorities, then some services such as physiotherapy which are offered by other providers in the community will be discontinued. Positively, here in Montreal, the Society sponsored a public meeting covering currently available treatments, progress made in MS research and available tools to improve physical fitness. Towards finding a cure, the MS Society joined with the Federal Canadian government and three provinces. $5.4million was provided to fund seven different research teams investigating Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI). As reported in the Montreal Gazette in March this year, the research concluded definitively that “pursuing the Liberation treatment …. is not really going to be a good investment of your time and money”. Information on the many more-promising researches is given on the MSS Canada website. A final criticism was the ratio of administration cost to total income. In the time since the data in question was published, office costs have been reduced by moving into accommodation shared with other charities, or properties with lower rents. One feature that also affects the ratio is that the MS Society undertakes integrated education & fundraising activities using its own direct staff. So for example, the Saturday night dinner in the middle of this MS Bike Tour is a gathering of the whole range of MS stakeholders – patients and their relatives, volunteers, medical and Society staff. We’ll shout the Psycows Team Cheer!
I will once again be riding with the Psycows Team, in honour of Sarah Mitham.. Our route will take us 140km across hills and through the valley of the Kennebecasis River. To that I will add rides around Montreal wearing MS Bike Tour colours to make up a total of 250km. A suggested sponsorship is 10c / km ($25), all of which will go to MS Canada. You can donate on this website. Alternatively send me a cheque payable to “MSS Canada”; OR telephone the Atlantic Office at 902 468 8230 and mention 'Simon Hartropp New Brunswick Bike Tour'. Whatever amount you can give, it will help my $4000 target be reached.
Best wishes for the summer of 2017 as we help the “Let's Stop MS” dream be realised!