Riding for a cause
On April 29th and 30th, I joined several members of my Montrose team along with thousands of participants at the largest Multiple Sclerosis Society Bike MS ride in the country, where we partnered with 311 other teams to help raise more than $7M in the fight against multiple sclerosis and spread awareness about this devastating disease.
Starting in Houston and Austin, and ending at Fayette County Fairgrounds in LaGrange, Texas, most of our group rode 100 miles on day one and continued on for an additional 80 miles on day two, finally concluding the ride at College Station with a spectacular finish at the Texas A&M football stadium.
About MS – what we’re up against
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system affecting both children and adults. Patients with MS experience a myriad of symptoms, such as issues with balance and coordination, slurred speech, memory loss, blurred vision or blindness, and paralysis. Thanks to the efforts of researchers and the support from events such as Bike MS, great progress has been made in developing therapeutic drugs to help manage and slow the progression of MS, but currently there is no cure.
Biking for a cure, and for a friend
Serving as our team Captain, I was joined by over a dozen riders including Montrose family Jamie Beck, and Greg Burch on this, my 21st Bike MS ride tremendous headwind to start the day on Saturday, but our persistence paid off with a perfect day to ride on the following day. When the ride was over, we had raised over $23,000, and ended up at 115% of our goal!
While I enjoy the spirit of teamwork and fundraising for this amazing cause, I also have a personal connection that motivates me – my good friend, Jeff Armbruster. Following several alarming instances of numbness and difficulty standing and walking, Jeff was diagnosed with MS in October of 2009. Following this diagnosis, Jeff had surgery and multiple treatments and injections, all of which had little, to no, positive effect on him. His symptoms increased, and he even started to get new symptoms, eventually leading to him being confined to a wheelchair.
In 2012, Jeff started a new therapy that required an infusion once a month, and a new medicine that would help him with his mobility. These new treatments had a profound effect on his MS, and he was able to walk again, eventually ditching his wheelchair in 2014! Then, in 2015, he started riding in his first M150 bike ride, and become a committee member for WalkMS and a top fundraiser for the cause.
While Jeff is optimistic about his future, he has concerns about the toll that MS takes on those fighting the disease. Disability, depression, and even suicide are some of the things MS sufferers deal with, and Jeff has lost other MS-suffering friends due to these struggles. But, despite his own fight with MS, and the challenges of his friends and associates, Jeff is committed to continuing his support efforts for as long as he’s physically able. It’s that iron will and determination that Jeff displays that is an inspiration to me, and helps me to drive for a cure.
Join the cause and make a difference
As the Captain of our team, I couldn’t be prouder of our riders and volunteers for their dedication to this cause. On behalf of our riders, volunteers, and friends with MS, I invite you to support us by making a donation through our team page, or joining us, at next year’s Bike MS event, to be held on April 27th and 28th, 2024.
If you’re interested in joining our team, please complete the form below and leave your details. We’ll keep you up to speed as the next event approaches. What a great team, and what a great cause! As always, I am proud to be a part of this event, and I look forward to seeing you all out there again in 2024!