Before the first cyclist left the Thunderbird show park in Langley on Saturday, the MS Bike Ride had already surpassed its goal of $150,000.
Organizers estimated the sum was $152,000 with more funds coming in.
Stephanie Mosher, director of communication at the MS Society of Canada, British Columbia & Yukon Division, called it “amazing.”
About 140 riders took part, cheered on by the Extreme team that included siblings Sawyer Engele, 11, and his seven0year-old sister Harper.
For them, it was a personal matter.
“Because auntie has it,” Harper explained to the Langley Advance Times.
They have an aunt and a grandmother who are battling the disease.
Classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system,m MS attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves.
Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.
Currently there is no cure.
“She [my aunt] can’t walk,” Sawyer told the Langley Advance Times.
“We help her.”
“The kids got up extra early, no complaints [ to cheer on the riders],” mom Jennifer Engele related.
“They were happy to come.”
Among the volunteers was 16-year-old D.W. Poppy student Yoonah Park, who explained that while neither she nor her family have been touched by MS, she felt it was a cause that should be supported.
“I was very eager to do something,” Park explained, as she handed out snacks and drink to the riders.
“It’s every exciting.”
Billed as the Fraser Valley Bike Experience, the annual ride offered routes ranging in length from 45- to to 95kilometres over Saturday and Sunday (July13-14)
By Monday (July 15), the online total had passed $162,000.
Funds raised from the MS Bike Ride support innovative research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS as well as provide valuable services, programs and advocacy for Canadians affected by MS.
Women are twice as likely as men to contract MS, according to one study of people born in the 1930s, which found the ratio among people born in the 1980 shows women are more three times as likely as men ti get MS.
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