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The Connecticut Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Connecticut and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.


Commercial Photographer Steps Away From The Ring To Saddle Up For MS

May 8, 2014

Forms Bike MS Fundraising team for first time.


West Hartford, Conn. – Mike Marques, a commercial photographer whose clients include World Wrestling Entertainment, often has to grapple with lighting, the elements, and sometimes his subjects just to get the right shot. However, Sunday, June 3, he’s stepping away from the ring to saddle up in the fight to find a cure.

Photographing for WWE takes Marques all over the world. However when he’s not trekking the globe for the WWE and his many other clients, Marques makes his home in West Hartford, where he volunteers his time to support people in his home state battling multiple sclerosis.

And this year, Marques is taking volunteerism to the next level. He has formed his own fundraising team and will cycle in the Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, Sunday, June 3, in Windsor.

His relationship with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, dates back to 2009, when Marques responded to a request to photograph the chapter’s Bike MS event. A passionate cyclist, Marques was eager to broaden his lens, so to speak.

mike marques

Photographer Mike Marques at work on the WWE circuit. Marques has supported the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, since 2009, when he first photographed a Bike MS event. Marques’ relationship with the chapter has grown to include an ongoing photo essay project, which illustrates the many faces of MS, while telling a visual story of living life as fully as possible in the face of a potentially debilitating disease. This year, Marques will step out from behind the camera and ride 100 miles as captain of his fundraising team, Mike Marques Photography. To learn more about Mike Marques Photography, LLC, please For more information on the 2012 Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, please visit

“I signed on at first because it was something different,” said Marques, who specializes as a commercial portrait photographer but who also photographs weddings in a joint venture with another contracted WWE photographer who lives in Connecticut. “It started off with shooting a single bike ride and then grew into so much more.”

In 2010, Marques launched a photo essay project in collaboration with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. To date he has photographed more than 20 individuals with MS from across Connecticut. These compelling images illustrate the many faces of MS, while telling a visual story of living life as fully as possible in the face of a potentially debilitating disease.

“After the bike ride, I wanted to do something more with the chapter,” said Marques. “I really wanted to capture images at the local level – not just nationally.”

Marques relayed the difficulties of photographing what is sometimes referred to as an “invisible” disease.

“As a photographer, it felt like a challenge to create awareness for MS,” he said. “The symptoms can vary so greatly; it’s important for the public to know what these people experience. It’s not like they just have it and live a normal life – every day brings its own challenges. The goal of the project is to visually capture all that MS is through those living with the disease.”

Ever committed to pinning MS down for the count, Marques formed a fundraising team for the Bike MS ride in Windsor. He will ride the 100-mile route. Team Mike Marques Photography now boasts eight riders and has raised more than $700. Fundraising continues beyond the June 3 ride.

“After photographing the ride for the past three years, I’m really excited to actually get out and ride this year,” said Marques, who has photographed both the Windsor and Westport Bike MS rides. “I can tell how much everyone enjoys this event.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, extraordinary fatigue, stiffness in the limbs, and in extreme cases, complete paralysis.

“Because the lives of people are ever-changing, it can be difficult sometimes to develop relationships with volunteers on a long-term basis,” said Karen Butler, who oversees the communications department at the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “We were amazed when, after what we thought was a one-time collaboration, Mike approached us about launching a photo essay campaign. Now he’s ramping it up again, not just helping to raise awareness but also funds. Mike is one of a kind. We are incredibly fortunate to have him on our team.”

The 2012 Bike MS: Red Thread+Steelcase Ride, presented by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, will feature two locations on Sunday, June 3 – Griffin Center in Windsor and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The Windsor ride features 100-, 50-, 25-, 12- and 2-mile routes while Westport offers 50-, 25-, and 10-mile rides as well as a kiddie ride.

To learn more about Mike Marques Photography, LLC, please visit: To find out more about Mike Marques Wedding Photography, please visit:

Community partners for Bike MS include WTNH News 8 and Lite 100.5 WRCH.

To register for Bike MS or to donate to Team Mike Marques Photography, visit


About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts 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 leading to better understanding and 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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