All posts by auGi Garred

Adaptive Bicycles: Together, We Move Towards Your Dreams and Aspirations

Different Spokes generously loaned six adaptive bicycles for our Bike MS 2016 I Ride with MS Victory Lap. It was wonderful to see so many impacted by MS—that stole their ability to ride an upright cycle—once again feel the joy and freedom of flying down the road.

Here are a few excerpts from our conversation with Don Smith, co-owner of Different Spokes.

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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.


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?



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!

Meet the Staff: Hogan Sherrow

Our new Southern Oregon Community Development Specialist

Hogan grew up in Rogue River, attended the University of Oregon, spent time teaching at Southern Oregon University, and is thrilled to be back home, making a difference in the communities he grew up in. “I’ve lived all over the country, and spent a lot of time outside the U.S. I love Southern Oregon. There’s no place like home.”

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Bike MS Pedal News: August 18, 2016

More pics, great stories, last chance to register

Q: You know what’s great after Bike MS weekend?
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Doug the Pug’s Fundraising Snacks: Turn Your Email Signature into a Fundraising Reminder

Ruff! Those good humans at Bike MS think of everything, including this super neat way to add a custom graphic to your emails that shows how much you’ve raised and your goal—with a direct link to your donation page.

Here’s how the signature looks. Pretty sweet, eh?

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.34.14 PM

Login to your Bike MS participant center to learn how to add the signature to your emails. The information is towards the bottom of the landing page.



PS. I’m listening to Rush right now. Can you believe it?

Bike MS is Better than Christmas

by Bonnie Iglesias

My health had steadily improved over the last 15 months, and I was excited to get back on a tandem bicycle and ride with my brother, Chris. It was our tradition to ride a few miles and cross the finish line together on the first day of Bike MS, and I was thrilled to roll down the road with my brother’s help. But what really excited me was the second day’s I Ride with MS Victory Lap.
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Amy’s August Superbad Team Week & Pedal News: August 15-31, 2016


**August Fundraising Incentives**

#1: When you raise $100+ during team week, you’ll earn an orange ribbon Hope necklace. Whether you wear it yourself or gift it to a donor, it’s a lovely memento of why we ride.
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Bike MS Pedal News > 08/12/16: Event weekend photos, stories, and more

Hi Everyone,

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing event weekend photos, heartfelt Bike MS stories, how your fundraising has made an impact, easy fundraising tips, the rankings, and relevant Bike MS news.

As always, if you have any questions or want to talk about Bike MS, just reply to this email or give me a call. I love talking with my Bike peeps!
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Bike MS Stories: Stacy & Juha

Whether you live with MS or are supporting a loved one/friend who does, these two stories are perfect examples of how to inspire deeper connections and fundraising. Please use them as a guide to tell your own story, or to craft a personal email or fundraising letter.
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OHSU Doctors share New Breakthroughs in the Fight to End MS

By Helen Russon

Those of us in the MS Community got a special treat on June 25, 2016: Oregon Health Sciences University conducted its annual education forum, “Multiple Sclerosis, At the Frontier and Beyond 2016.”

 In this day-long presentation, OHSU doctors presented the latest research results in the tireless fight to end this disease. Even more impressively, the doctors participated in panel discussions and stayed afterwards to answer questions about this exciting research. Here are some of the day’s highlights:

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