Most of my memories of my Grandma are of her in a wheelchair in a nursing home. Why? Because my Grandma was diagnosed with MS when she was in her late 50s. She spent fourteen years in a nursing home and MS took her life when she was only 73. My Aunt Elaine is now living with the disease and MS is making life a challenge for my Aunt, my Uncle and my cousins and their families.
I don't often say that I hate things but I'll say this - I hate MS. I hate what it does to people. What it did to my Grandma. What it takes away from families. I don't want to see this disease continue. I don't want to see families suffer as their loved ones struggle with this disease. And that's why I decided to ride on Saturday - because I wanted to raise money to help stop MS and, until a cure is found, to help people who are living with the disease.
Grandma Edith and Grandpa Howard Anderson taken long before MS entered their lives. Their wedding picture - August 30, 1936.
So on Saturday Owen and I rode the 52 mile route made up of miles of rolling hills along country roads and part of the lovely Gateway Trail. We rode as part of a team Team OS led by our captain, Eric Fellows, a friend of mine from high school who I hadn't seen in about 25 years! It was great fun to ride with a team but the greatest thing of all is that our little team of five - Owen, Eric, Matt, Val and I raised $2,605.00!!
It was a new bicycling experience for me, pedaling mile after mile and knowing that I was riding for my Grandma and Aunt Elaine. I found myself tearing up a couple of times on the ride, and not because the hills were too big or the ride was too long! No, I found myself crying because of the memories of my Grandma. Because my Aunt is living with MS today. Because I hate this disease. And because I felt that by fundraising and pedaling away the miles I was able to do a little something to help beat MS and help those living with the disease.
Owen and I after biking the Bike MS: Twin Cities Ride on May 12, 2012Thanks to all of you who sponsored me and Owen and Team OS on this ride. Thanks for making donations to help fight MS.
Oh, and guess what? If you haven't made a donation I'm sure to do the ride again next year so you can sponsor me next year.
Or, if you feel so inclined, you can still make a donation for this years's ride up through June 1st :)
Just follow this link: