I know. I know. I say it every year. Never again will I do the MS150, the 180-mile bike ride from Houston to Austin to raise money to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Yet, once again, I’m getting ready to make the two-day trek to Austin on April 18 and 19 – for the FIFTH time.
I first began this quest as a personal challenge the year after I turned 50. But after months of training and several major hills outside of LaGrange and in Austin, I vowed never again. Then my son, Patrick, met me at the finish line in Austin with a dozen red roses and said, “Mom, I want to do this next year with you.” But that was going to be the last time for sure. Now it’s five years later and I’m spinning and weight training and road riding.
I guess I continue to ride because there is something about the physical challenge of riding a bike 180 miles. Just when you don’t think you can peddle another stroke, you round the corner and see a person sitting in a wheelchair by the side of the road holding a big “Thank You” sign. I continue to ride for Doris Rosenbaum, who died this past December after a 26-year battle with MS. Although I never met Doris, I kept up with her battle with MS each year from my friend and MS supporter Joan Fitzgerald. Joan tells me that although Doris’ poor body was so compromised at the end, her mind and attitude were an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.
Perhaps I keep signing up for this event for the two brothers who grew up across the road from me in northeast Texas who today both suffer from MS or the father of a young boy on my son Byron’s soccer team. Although he looks like the picture of health today, he woke up one morning paralyzed and was later diagnosed with MS, ending his own ability to do the long-distance cycling events that he loved, including the Hotter Than Hell Ride in West Texas.
So here I am again seeking donations from you to support the MS Society of Texas. Here is my fundraising link for easy and secure online giving:
If you prefer to mail a check, you can send donations to the National MS Society, Lone Star Chapter, 8111 N. Stadium Dr., Suite 100, Houston, TX 77054. Be sure and put my name in the memo section.
Last year, I matched all donations dollar for dollar, raising a total of more than $2,200. This year, I’ll match donations up to a total of $500. (Hey, there’s a recession going on!) And remember, this is my last ride. I won’t be coming back to you for donations ever again. (Maybe.)