Jon and Michael Richards
Jon: Six years ago my son, Mike, was diagnosed with MS. Thanks to daily injections, his MS symptoms have been fairly stable and affect his life in relatively small ways. For this he is grateful- it could be much worse.
As a parent, I want to help my son- but how? The only thing that will change the course of this disease is the development of new, effective treatments through medical research.
Riding in Bike MS: Waves to Wine and raising money for MS research is what I can do for my son. Like most people, I am uncomfortable asking my friends for money. I am also uncomfortable riding 175 miles in two days. But this is what I can do.
Michael: When I was first diagnosed with MS in 2008, it was a scary time. I learned all I could about the disease. I found that while great strides have been made in the past decade in understanding the disease and developing treatments, we still have a long way to go before we can defeat MS for good. I also found that funding from the National MS Society is critical to supporting ongoing research in the US.
My wife and I wanted to do something to help the thousands of individuals and families suffering with MS, and to help accelerate the scientific research that will lead to better treatments and a cure. We started Team Menstrual Cycles in 2009, and in our four years of riding in Bike MS: Waves to Wine, we've raised $370,000.
Many of our friends and family members have joined in to ride with and support Team Menstrual Cycles. I'm particularly proud that my father is one of the top fundraisers, in addition to being one of the strongest riders! I hope that with improved treatments, those of use riding with MS today can look forward to being as healthy and active as him 20 years from now.