Rye Beach Resident Rides for Peace (But Not That Peace) - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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In Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the Greater New England Chapter works to improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by MS; and raises funds for cutting-edge MS research to stop disease progression, restore lost function, and end MS forever.

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Rye Beach Resident Rides for Peace (But Not That Peace)

August 6, 2014

Peace Molinaro

On Saturday, August 23, Stratham, New Hampshire will be home to the starting line for the National MS Society’s 2014 Bike MS: New Hampshire Seacoast Escape, a bike ride that will raise funds for multiple sclerosis research and services.

Leo Montalbano, a 64-year-old retiree from Rye Beach, is one of the participants in the Seacoast Escape.  He has decided to strap on a helmet and pedal his way around New Hampshire’s seaside streets because of one person:  his mother-in-law, Peace.

In a fundraising e-mail sent out to family and friends, Leo narrates his mother-in-law’s story.  Peace Molinaro was born on November 11, 1918, the same date as the ending of World War I.  During World War II, Peace worked in a factory that made piston rings for fighter pilots.  It is there that she met her husband Henry, who would enlist and serve as a sergeant in the US Army, mostly in Holland and partially in Germany.

Peace was later diagnosed with MS and passed away at the age of 58.  Before her death, Peace worked tirelessly to raise money to combat MS, hosting card parties and other events along with the help of her friends and family.

“Peace is the mother-in-law I never had a chance to meet,” writes Leo.  “By all accounts she was a great lady and a real fighter.”

This year, Leo wants to honor Peace’s memory by engaging in his first National MS Society bike ride.  He feels that 2014 being the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of World War I is a fitting way to start off his participation.

“I’ve been riding a bike for 40 or 50 years,” Leo said.  “My mother-in-law was born on the ending date for World War I, so I kind of put two and two together.”

“There’s been a lot of support,” he continued.  “People like it and they like the reference to Peace and World War I.  Most of the people I sent [the e-mail] to were relatives of my wife's mother and they thought it would be a great idea.”

So far, Leo has raised $1,085 for the Seacoast Escape.  If you would like to donate to Leo’s cause, contributions can be made at bikeMSgne.org, where you may also sign up to be a rider.

Peace will no doubt be in Leo’s mind as he ventures across the Granite State’s beautiful scenic roads.  One thing that won’t be on his mind, however, is the need to finish fast.

“I'm sure I'll finish it,” Leo said.  Then he laughed, “But I'm also sure the time won't be the record breaker.”

About the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Society’s Greater New England Chapter serves 21,000 individuals and families affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and by contacting the National MS Society at www.MSnewengland.org, or 1 800 FIGHT MS (344 4867).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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