Paul DeBruler has always loved riding bikes. As a kid, he was a typical reckless rider, bombing over curbs, ramps, and any other obstacles in the endless pursuit of more – more height on jumps, more speed, more fun. As an adult, Paul uses cycling a little differently – for one thing, it’s his main form of transportation to and from work, but for another, it’s a weapon against an insidious disease.
Paul’s mother Margaret battled primary progressive MS for 12 years before passing away in 1983. Paul watched his mother go through everything that MS does to a person firsthand when he was young – but the amazing thing was, she went through it all not with fear, anger, or depression, but with a sense of “okay, that happened, now we deal with it.” No matter the circumstance, that credo has stuck with Paul throughout his life.
Margaret never complained about her situation in front of her kids. Even if her outlook on a particular day wasn’t always as positive as it generally was, she was at the very least honest about her situation and what she could and could not do. She taught Paul and his sister to never give up, never wallow in sadness, and always – no matter what – to move forward, and to always do what you can while you can.
And that, in a nutshell, is why Paul rides Bike MS – after all, he’s not a doctor and he can’t actually cure anyone’s MS. What he can do, though, is help raise money so that no family has to deal with what he and his family dealt with all those years ago.
Paul has ridden in seven Bike MS Oregon weekends and has raised over $10,000 to support research into the cause and cure of MS, and also to help patients and their families get the support they need in order to live with MS – until we defeat MS once and for all.
Join Paul and those in our tight-knit community stop MS in its tracks.