It's about reducing suffering!
Cyclists like to tell themselves that it's all about pain and suffering, but it's nothing compared to what MS patients go through. There may be a little suffering involved in the Cowichan Valley Experience ride, but we're happy to do it if it helps the people who really count, the tens of thousands of MS patients in Canada and less directly, millions elsewhere.
This is personal
I've generally had good luck with health, but my brother-in-law, Mike Addison, was not so fortunate. He suffered from MS for about 25 years until passing away on November 6, 2018.
In 2004 his two kids, James and Nicky, and I plus a couple of other friends decided to do something about MS by signing up for the Grape Escape, as it was then called, and seeing whether we could raise some money for MS research and services. At the time we hoped, of course, that our efforts would in some way improve Mike's life as well as those of other MS patients, but now we're carrying on in his memory.
There has been progress on several fronts, but MS is unfortunately still with us, and the need for patient assistance services is ongoing. Please support our effort to improve the lives of those with MS, and hopefully progress toward an MS-free world in the long run, by pledging whatever you can to our project. It's deeply appreciated.
Putting the money to work
A few years ago I was selected as a member of one of the national panels that review applications for research support. This was part of the MS Society's effort to ensure that supported research is relevant to members of the MS community as well as being scientifically sound. My term is now over, and looking back I think it was worthwhile as well as interesting - I was especially pleased by the level of interest that the scientific members of the panel took in the views of us "civilians" and it reinforces my confidence that the money we raise is getting put to good use.
This video gives you an idea of what is being done: https://youtu.be/fiC_VRpxrgw
Where do we ride?
Routes for 2019 are not yet decided, but when they are I will post links for anyone who is curious about where we go.