More than 200 cyclists are gathering this weekend for the 2012 MS Fraser Valley Grape Escape Bike Tour, charity ride organized to help raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis (MS).
This debilitating illness afflicts thousands of Canadians, including Mission’s Heather Armstrong, who was first diagnosed in 2006, and whose mother also has the physically disabling neurological disease.
More than 10,000 participants across the nation are expected to take part in the non-competitive June 2-3 ride, and nearly 200 cyclists will be involved in the Fraser Valley tour. The attendees will cycle through the region and visit a number of local wineries.
Armstrong said she has only had one clinical attack, and has managed to continue living her life through regular exercise, especially cycling.
It was at a spinning class at Mission’s InForm Fitness gym that Armstrong met Adrian Gagne. He was recruiting people for an MS riding team, and Armstrong jumped aboard.
“For one thing, it’s good fun. I like being able to meet like-minded people, and I can only do what I can do, but I want to continue to support finding a cure for MS,” she said.
Team MS Gone is currently comprised of Gagne, Armstrong, Mary Liner, Mary Lewis, Tracey Sych, James Armstrong and Braydon Hill.
Armstrong is a caregiver for her mother, and does the majority of her fundraising work through e-mail. Sourcing donations has dropped for the past few years, she related, primarily because of the recession. She has just exceeded her $1,500 goal this year, but if you would like to donate, visit msbiketours.ca.