Dear Fit Werx Friends and Family
As you may know, Fit Werx has long been a supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the MS150. Our involvement recently became more personal when my sister, Marleigh, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May 2009.
Some of you may have met or remember Marleigh from one of the many triathlons we did together–she was the smiling, tall brunette wearing a Fit Werx jersey—often crushing the bike leg and winning her age group, or in some cases, overall female winner. She’d always cross the finish line with the biggest smile on her face, and quickly became a role model for many new and experienced triathletes in her area. Of all the hundreds of races I’ve competed in over the years, my favorites were by far, the races Marleigh and I did together. We’d found the perfect sport where we were like young kids again– planning and talking about triathlon all the time. MS has taken all that and many other things away from us, and drastically altered the way Marleigh lives her life and plans for the future with her husband Tim and 3 children.
My whole life, Marleigh has always been one of the most active girls I’ve ever known, competitive to the core, and yet the most generous and caring role model you could ask for – the perfect big sister. I could hear the fear in her voice when she called to tell me the doctors suspected MS, and saw the sadness and tears in her eyes when it was later confirmed. There is no cure for MS. She’ll spend the rest of her life dealing with the fatigue, memory loss, hip weakness and periodic electrical shocks and numbness, all while routinely injecting herself with medication in hopes of slowing the progression until a cure is found. The diagnosis knocked us down for months, but after digesting and accepting the news, the competitive spirit in Marleigh took hold once again, and she is as much a fighter as ever. While she can’t run anymore or push herself to the limits she’s so accustomed to, she can lead us in the fight against MS.
If you were among the two thousand cyclists in last year’s Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway, you saw us–team Fit Werx/MPB. We were one of the largest ‘first year’ teams the NMSS had ever seen (39 cyclists!), and raised more than $70,000—putting us among the top ten fundraising teams. Many of you were a part of this as riders and donors. We did this together. We rocked it, and we thank you–the NMSS thanks you, Marleigh thanks you, and the other 400,000 American living with MS today thank you.
We’re doing it again, and hope to increase our presence even more in the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway 2011. I invite YOU– Fit Werx Friends and Family–to join our team Fit Werx/MPB and ride from Quincy to Provincetown with us. Our team is now 60+ cyclists strong, with a wide range of ages and cycling abilities. We care, we love cycling, and we love a good time. Ask me about it! We’d love to have you. Click “Join Team” using this link: http://bikemam.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?pg=teamlist&fr_id=15161 and use discount code Team20 to save $20 on your registration.
Can’t join us for the ride but want to help us in the fight? Please consider making a donation to the NMSS. Every person making a $50 donation to our Fitwerx/MPB team is eligible to win a 2011 Cervelo R3 bike which has generously been donated by Cervelo to help us raise money in the fight against MS. https://secure3.convio.net/nmss/site/Donation2?idb=1702485427&df_id=31096&FR_ID=15161&PROXY_ID=7620137&PROXY_TYPE=20&31096.donation=form1
Marleigh and I used to swim together, run together, and race together.
Now we are riding together–with hope and optimism that each mile brings us closer to a cure to this debilitating disease.
FitWerx/MPB Team Motto: “Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride.