MS Bike Tour on the Road this Weekend

Up to 700 cyclists will be pedaling in the MS Bike Tour this weekend, August 8 and 9, from Ottawa to Cornwall.

Now in its 26th year, the MS Bike Tour is a favorite event for cyclists in the Ottawa area. With routes ranging between 80 and 215 kilometres, the tour provides an opportunity for cyclists of all levels to have fun and raise funds in support of MS research and programs. This year’s organizers have set a fundraising goal of $575,000.  Last year, the Ottawa MS Bike Tour earned $543,000 for the cause.  Funds raised support world-class research and also provide programs and services for hundreds of individuals living with MS in our community. 

 

These are some of the participants:

Jonathan Allenger has been riding in the MS Bike Tour for two years. In 2014, Jonathan’s inaugural tour, he raised over $10,000. Jonathan was diagnosed with MS in 2013.

Caron Adams has been riding in the MS Bike Tour for ten years. In 2000, at the age of 36 and while raising two small children, she was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS.  Caron got engaged at the 2011 bike tour and her fiancée Mike has been participating in the tour for seven years. They will be married during this year’s tour, at the NAV Centre. Caron is currently the Chair of the MS Bike Committee.

Dick Louch rides for his wife, Yassemin, who lives with MS.  As the past chair of the organizing committee, Dick has brought many changes to the tour while ensuring traditions are kept.

Richard Jurewicz has been cycling in the tour for as long as it has been running, 26 years. Richard experiences MS as his wife’s primary caregiver.  His wife, Teresa, was diagnosed with MS in 1986.  Last year, Richard surpassed the fundraising milestone of raising over $100,000 for the Ottawa chapter!

 

Dr. Mark Freedman (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute / University of Ottawa) is the lead investigator for a recently announced study entitled MESCAM (Mesenchymal Stem cell therapy for Canadian MS patients).  Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are found in many places in the body including the bone marrow, skin and fat – and have been demonstrated to suppress inflammation and repair nerve tissue, positioning them as promising candidates for the treatment of MS. As a number of pioneering small studies have established the safety of administering MSC in humans, the excitement surrounding MESCAMS is huge.

Taking place at two Canadian sites –the Ottawa Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) in Winnipeg – MESCAMS will provide more definitive answers regarding the use of MSC to treat persons living with MS. 

MS FACTS

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world with over 100,000 people affected. The MS Society provides services to people affected by MS and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease.                                                          

 For details or to make a donation, see www.msbike.ca.

 

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