Teenagers Take on MS in Tandem
At the beginning of the 2009 summer, close friends Lexi Lorch and Hannah Larson, 15 year old teenagers from Indianapolis, IN thought it would be fun to borrow their neighbor’s tandem bike. That first tandem bike ride evolved into a 13 day tandem ride to raise awareness and funds in support of Lexi’s dad, Kurt Lorch, who was diagnosed with MS in 1996.
Before Kurt was diagnosed with MS, he answered a newspaper ad from Tom, a retired Southern Illinois University Professor who was blind and looking for an experienced cyclist to lead his tandem. Kurt toured the country while leading Tom, which kept his teammate’s dream alive. Kurt’s ride served as an inspiration to Lexi and Hannah. As Kurt’s MS is progressing, the two young women decided to embark on their own journey as a way to keep Kurt’s passion for service and cycling alive.
Lexi and Hannah called their 13 day adventure “Mission MS”, with each day representing the 13 years since Kurt was diagnosed. During their trek, they rode the tandem bike throughout Indiana and camped every night in the yard of someone else living with MS. During their overnight stays, they also did helpful projects like pulling weeds or baking for each host and interviewed them about how they were living with the disease. “These people are the reason we ride and we want to connect with each and every one of them,” says Lexi. “It is our prayer that someday we will find a cure for MS to allow those we love to continue to move their lives forward.” Read more about their “Mission MS” experience.