I Ride for My Sister – by Dean Phillips
Dear Fit Werx Friends and Family,
Fit Werx has been a long-time supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the MS150 charity ride. My involvement became even more personal when my sister, Marleigh, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May 2009. It is with my heartfelt commitment to ending MS, I am asking you to consider becoming involved too, either by JOINING us as a rider this June 28-29, or by SPONSORING me with a donation to NMSS to end this horrible disease.
I can still 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.
Before her diagnosis, Marleigh was an active stay-at-home-mom, wife, and strong advocate for health and fitness. She loved triathlons – particularly the bike leg – and we competed regularly at races throughout the summer. She’d always come across the finish line with the biggest smile on her face, and became a well known role model for new and experienced triathletes and cyclists in her area. Of all the races I’ve competed in over the years, my favorites were by far, the races Marleigh and I did together. MS has taken all that and many other things away from us, but it hasn’t stopped us from fighting. While Marleigh can’t run anymore or push herself to the limits she’s accustomed to, she can still 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 had 105 riders on the team and raised $120,000 – which put us in the top 3 fundraising teams. Many of you were a part of this as riders and donors. These fundraising dollars will continue to advance the research and development of the drugs that victims like Marleigh are taking to slow the progression of this disease. While MS currently can’t be cured or reversed, these drugs are allowing victims like Marleigh to continue to ride a bike – something that wasn’t possible when my grandmother was diagnosed in her late 20’s and a few short years later would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
Want to help us in the fight? Please consider making a donation to the NMSS. Every person making a $50 or more donation to our Fitwerx/MPB team by June 14th, 2014 is eligible to win a free Cervelo R3 road bike. Click the link below to enter:
Remember our FitWerx/MPB Team Motto: “Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride.”