MS Champions are instrumental in helping to mobilize people and dollars, actively working with the Mid America Chapter and encouraging others to support our mission. We will be pleased to introduce the 2013 MS Champions soon for the significant role they play in our fight to end MS. Click here to learn more about our 2013 MS Champions.
Roslyn Dryden is a true champion of the National MS Society and this year marks her ninth year of living with MS. After being diagnosed, Roslyn went back to work at Lockton companies. That same day, her company was hosting a fundraiser for Lockton’s Bike MS team where the entire company was rallying behind all cyclists to raise money for the MS Society. From executives to associates, all employees were there to support this fundraiser. From that day on, Roslyn was inspired.
Roslyn started her journey with the MS Society as an MS Challenge Walk participant, a 3-day, 50-mile fundraising event. Since that time, Roslyn has gone on to participate in Bike MS and Walk MS and to serve on planning committees. Roslyn’s passion for helping those affected by MS has led to her deeper involvement with the Society and she most recently joined the Kansas City Board for the Mid America Chapter. Her dedication to the MS Society has grown through her leadership at Lockton. Roslyn continues to lead the Lockton Walk MS team and the Lockton Bike MS volunteer team. Roslyn and her crew annually host The Lockton Oasis, the well-known lunch stop for all Bike MS cyclists on their 150 mile journey.
Until 1998, Bill Kennedy had no connection to MS or the MS Society. In August 1996, he wrecked his bike resulting in several broken bones and a damaged bike. Upon recovery, he began to ride again and wanted to have his wrecked bike repaired. This led Bill to The Pathfinder bike shop, where he was given a flier about the then, MS 150, now Bike MS. The flier presented a challenge – could he ride 150 miles?
That year Bill accepted the challenge and joined a local team and started his journey to becoming a top fundraiser for Bike MS and the MS Society. During the overnight celebration,
tired and beaten by his first 100 mile ride, Bill heard stories from those living with MS, their families and friends. He learned that MS stops people from moving and that despite all the research, there was not a known cause or cure for this potentially debilitating disease.
It was with this knowledge and motivation that Bill continued to ride. He started his own team, involved his family and has continued to double and re-double his fundraising efforts. In Bill’s words "The annual MS ride has become my Christmas. It’s big in my life. The bones I broke are all healed, while MS has no known cause and no known cure, so I will continue to ride."
Bill has become an advocate for those living with MS. His is dedicated the mission and rides to raise funds to support programs, services and research to find a cause and a cure for MS.
Kathy Van de Ven
After being diagnosed with MS in 1994, Kathy made it her personal mission that she would fight this disease. Her first stop was participating in Walk MS in Birmingham, Ala., where she was a top fundraiser. As time moved on, Kathy decided she could do more to help herself and those living with MS. This passion fueled her desire to start a Round for Research Golf Tournament, an annual event held in Maryville, Mo.
This September marks the 13th anniversary of the event, which has raised a cumulative amount of $575,000. As a top fundraiser for the National MS Society, Kathy has earned the privilege of restricting her funds for the sole purpose of research to find a cause and cure for MS. All funds from her golf tournament go to support a national research project at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., under the direction of Dr. Moses Rodriguez.
Kathy says she could not be the MS advocate she is today without the support of her family and friends. Her daughters and husband play a key role in the planning of the Round for Research, and Kathy also has tremendous support from her community and colleagues. "I feel this MS journey has never been a disability, rather a blessing which cannot be described in words. The generosity and compassion that people show towards our cause overwhelms me."
For almost two decades, Kathy has been a leader in the fight for a cure and continues to be a driving force for research. Kathy is a great asset to the National MS Society, and has made a difference through her generous gifts.