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.


Stacy’s Story 

When I was diagnosed with MS, I kept moving. In fact, I did my first Walk MS just five days after my diagnosis. I was young and independent, and determined to keep up with my life. For my job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, I often worked twelve-hour days, driving 200 miles in a day. After a day like that, I’d sometimes hardly be able to think.

The following year really opened my eyes to the amazing resources the National MS Society offers. I moved to Sacramento for work and found great support in a minimal symptoms group I joined. It was a great way to see the “new face of MS”—people who lived with MS but were still active and working.

And then Juha came back into my life. We had dated for a summer in Portland right after college and before my MS diagnosis. I was his first American girlfriend after he immigrated here from Finland with his amazing family. We reconnected over Facebook and resumed our relationship after our brief thirteen years “break”.

When I’d first started going to my support group, I heard a lot about “care partners.” Being an independent woman, I didn’t like to think of myself as someone who needed to be taken care of. But when Juha and I got back together, I learned what an amazing partner he was, and that we could take care of each other. We got married 3 years ago, and now I’m his last girlfriend, American or other.

My dad, an avid cyclist, is the one who got us into Bike MS. He’d been riding with Team Discover for several years when Juha and I decided to join him.

It’s amazing how many people get involved with Bike MS because they love cycling, and then get passionate about the cause of fighting MS. They find out that they know someone with the disease—a neighbor, or a friend’s mom. I can feel that empathy from people—it’s so emotional for me.

The National MS Society has changed my life. Please consider making a donation to Bike MS to help the National MS Society change more lives!

Bike MS 2014 Team Photo

Juha’s Story 

We love Bike MS! We get there early, set up our tent, have a nice breakfast, and go out for a beautiful ride. At night, we watch movies or sing karaoke, and drink some beers. It’s been a great thing for us to do with Stacy’s dad.

Last year we bought road bikes, and we’re hoping to add more people to Team Discover. We both raise money through our companies—we’d love to break our record this year!

We’re very outgoing and active—we love traveling and going to Ducks games with Stacy’s dad. We try to stay healthy, drinking shakes and eating organic food. But one of the symptoms of MS is deep fatigue, and Stacy’s work sometimes makes her very tired. She’ll get up at 5 in the morning and come home at 10 at night.

Starting this month, Stacy will be able to try oral medication instead of injections—this wasn’t an option when she was diagnosed. The National MS Society helps make developments like this possible.

Help keep the wheels turning for new treatments and a cure. Consider donating to Bike MS!


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!

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