Bike MS Pedal News 09-15-16: We Are Family

Remember the Saturday Night Spectacular Show when auGi, our emcee, said “Raise your hand if you’re fond of saying, “I may have MS, but MS doesn’t have me”?

Seeing all of those hands go up up in the audience gave me chills. It was so powerful, because I can only begin to imagine the amount of courage it takes to show the world you’re bigger than a disease.

To echo that moment, I was really taken by the story of Joseph and his family, who formed a team to celebrate his brother, Matt. As you’ll learn, Matt clearly lives by the phrase, “MS doesn’t have me.”

All this and more in this week’s Pedal News: Read more…

Bike MS Fundraising Story/Letter: We Are Family

Someone once said, “When one person in your family lives with MS, your whole family does.” That means we support each other through both thick and thin—like Joseph and his family do for his brother, Matt.

Here’s his Bike MS fundraising letter/story. Feel free to use it as a template to guide your own.

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Read more…

Bike MS Pedal News 09-08-16: “It Felt Like Such Unity and Such a Force”

We all ride for different reasons, but we share a common goal: a burning desire to #endMSforever.

In her inaugural year at Bike MS, Clarisa was not only motivated to raise funds to help find a cure for herself—but to ensure a safe, MS-free future for her kids. I know that’s a mission we can all get behind and hope you’ll read and share her wonderful story.

All this and more in this week’s Pedal News: Read more…

Doug the Pug’s Fundraising Snacks: Have You Tried Fundraising with the Free Facebook App?

Ruff! This cool app installs in just a few seconds on your Facebook page. It empowers your entire Facebook network to donate directly to you. Fundraising has never been quicker or easier.

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Download the Fundraising with Facebook app.

Sincerely,

Doug

PS. Bonus tip: After someone has made a donation, thank and tag them on Facebook. It’s such an easy way to make them feel good about supporting our cause. I may also wag my tail. Ruff!

Bike MS Rider Stories: “IT FELT LIKE SUCH UNITY AND SUCH A FORCE” > Meet Clarisa Walcott

by Helen Russon

What would you do if your toes went numb, the numbness spread to your waist, and your vision “was like trying to look through silty water”?

Those were some of Clarisa’s first MS symptoms.
Read more…

Doug the Pug’s Fundraising Snack: Turn Your Facebook Cover Image into Your Bike MS Story

Ruff! Share a photo from this year’s Bike MS ride. If you didn’t have the chance to take a selfie, check out our Flickr albums – there’s a good chance we did! Then, tell people why you care about ending MS forever. The more personal you make it, the more impact it will have.

Example: I’m riding for my Mom who lives with MS. The disease may have taken away her ability to move, but it hasn’t changed how much she cares about our family. Join me in supporting my Mom through Bike MS. Make a donation of $35. It only takes a minute.

[INCLUDE YOUR BIKE MS DONATION PAGE URL]

Sincerely,

Doug

Bike MS Pedal News 09-01-16: Superman is Here

This week, I’m thrilled to share the story of Christina, who rides on behalf of her uncle David. MS may have impacted his speech and movement, but it hasn’t taken away his sense of humor (made even more apparent by Christina’s Bike MS team name).

All this and more in this week’s Pedal News.
Read more…

Bike MS Rider Stories: Uncle David is Still Superman

Imagine a man—tall, fit, just out of the Navy, broad-chested and clowning. He’s wearing a tight Superman t-shirt and he smiles at you from the TV screen of your old home movies.

This is how I like to remember my Uncle David. Each summer, on our family vacations to Charleston, he would take my sisters and I out on the river in an old fiberglass canoe. Always the jokester, David would laugh and pretend the boat was tipping, “Don’t fall in! Don’t fall in! The alligators will get you!” as the canoe rocked side-to-side, we would squeal in delight with each jostle and tilt.
Read more…

Bike MS Pedal News 08-25-16: Remember “The Peanut Butter Factor”?

As we cruise along this winding road towards a cure, I continue to be amazed at what inspires people to join Bike MS.

This week, I’m happy to share the story of Chris Pero. If you watched our Saturday Night Spectacular Show at Bike MS, you’ll remember Chris’s comment about “The Peanut Butter Factor” (and if not, read on!).

These are the kinds of stories that reinforce why I work for the Society, and further inspire me to coach people how to fundraise so we can crush MS forever.

All this and more in this week’s Pedal News:

  • Chris’s story: Speed Bumps
  • Fundraising Tip: Matching gifts
  • Fundraising rankings

Read more…

Bike MS Fundraising Story/Letter: Speed Bumps

When you live with MS, sharing your experience publicly can be a challenge. It also can be an inspiration to others to join the fight.

Here’s Chris P’s Bike MS fundraising letter/story. Feel free to use it as a template to guide your own.

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I thought I was invincible. I was always moving, getting everything out of every moment in my life. Then something changed.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) eight years ago. At first, I denied it. I didn’t want to change the way I was living, but my MS meant that I had to slow down. Less exercising, less live music, less staying out late. My lifestyle had to change completely. And so, slowly, I learned to take breaks and manage my health while still doing the things I loved to do. It wasn’t easy. I still struggle with it.

It wasn’t just the lifestyle change that made living with MS difficult. I also didn’t like that I would have to undergo serious medical procedures. I had wanted to treat myself with natural remedies. But with time, I realized that the neurologists and researchers working for a cure for MS truly wanted to help me.

Changing Gears

When I was still learning to deal with my diagnosis, I found myself on a bike ride with a new friend. I had to stop and rest repeatedly during the ride, and I got frustrated with my situation and with myself. I didn’t want MS controlling me. I told my fellow cyclist about my diagnosis, wanting to explain my need to stop, and I was afraid at first of what he might think of my condition. But he understood. I felt a wave of relief. He accepted me, MS and all, and it helped me accept MS myself. Today, he’s my husband, and together we follow the rule that life is worth living.

I was laid off from my job just as I was first learning to deal with my diagnosis. That could have been a catastrophe, but I had decided that I wasn’t going to let MS make my decisions for me. I may not have been invincible, but I could still live well. I started my own business, which allowed me the freedom to seek the treatment I needed on my time. I took control of my life again.

Live Better

Once I had started treatment, I knew that I needed to get involved. I traveled and shared my story with others with MS and their families and friends. I’ve always advocated for living well. “Don’t be afraid of MS,” I tell people, “but learn to live even better with it.” After all, we’re all going to get something that will make our lives difficult at some point or another, so why not adapt and fight back?

My cousin Gretchen and I after the 18-mile ride at Bike MS

My cousin Gretchen and I after the 18-mile ride at Bike MS

And fighting back makes a massive difference! Raising awareness and money allows devoted researchers to make progress on a cure. Just think: if we can find a cure, we can have a world free of MS for everyone dealing with the condition now and for every generation still to come.

Living with MS has taught me to stop looking over my shoulder and to just keep going. Will you help us to keep going?

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NEED HELP WRITING YOUR OWN FUNDRAISING LETTER OR STORY?

Riders who share their personal connection to MS typically raise 3x more funds to crush MS. Learn how in auGi’s Storytelling 101 or email Amy Harris for ideas. We’re here to help!