It’s been more than a year since his sister Joanie died of complications from MS. But for James Corstorphine, better known by his middle name Hamish, she continues to be an inspiration, and he tells her story to help build awareness for the disease.
“Joanie was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago, but it progressed slowly,” said Hamish, “so she was able to carry on her life without much complication. Then four years ago, she hit a wall.” Hamish witnessed the accelerated decline as she went from wheelchair to permanently bed-ridden, and finally passed away. Hamish was shaken by what the disease had done to his sweet and wonderful sister, and the stress it caused her family and caretakers.
“Despite her declining health, she never complained, never asked ‘Why me?.’ She got discouraged, but made a decision to look on the bright side and be an example for others with MS.”
Joanie’s courage remains an inspiration for her brother. Two years ago, a friend told Hamish about a 150-mile bike ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis. Hamish hadn’t been on a bike in decades, nor did he own one, but he didn’t let that stop him. He saw the ride as a way to share Joanie’s story and do something to help find a cure.
On his first day of Bike MS, Hamish rode 63 miles. Over the weekend he banked over 100 total miles. Last year, Hamish rode 83 miles one the first day alone. More impressively, over the past two years, he’s raised $2,300 to fight MS. This year, Hamish plans to complete the total weekend 150-mile route and raise even more.
“I had no idea what to expect on my first ride, everyone was focused, loving and supportive,” said Hamish. “Whether you were riding or cheering on the sidelines, every person had an important role, and every dollar raised was a step toward a goal.”
Hamish has advice for those who might be shy or reluctant about taking part, or think the efforts of a single person won’t make much of a difference.
“Supporting a cause such as MS, where a cure is within reach, is worthy of your time and fundraising efforts. In the meantime, we can assist those living with MS—and their families—with equipment, education and support.”
SEE BIKE MS IN ACTION
Check out this video featuring soundbites from Hamish >>
Bike MS Manager