Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cyclists Gear Up to End MS

Cyclists Gear Up to End MS

RONA MS BIKE TOUR - Acton to Waterloo

Toronto, ON - August 2, 2011. An expected 500 cyclists will take the challenge and ride from Acton to Waterloo and back on August 13 and 14 as part of the RONA MS Bike Tours 2011, North America's largest cyclist series. Not only does the event bring awareness to the 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians living with multiple sclerosis, but it will also raise an estimated $370,000 in pledges, which fund vital services for people affected by the disease as well as research into the cause, treatment and cure.

"People living with MS are at the centre of our work" says Joanne Ticknor, Director of Client Services with the MS Society of Canada, Ontario Division. "The RONA MS Bike Tours play a critical role in funding community-based support and services to those living with MS and their families. This includes financial support for daily living or equipment needs, running education programs, self-help groups, and information and referral services."

The 150 km tour begins at Prospect Part in Acton and continues along scenic rural roads to the University of Waterloo. Cyclists stay at the university overnight and return to Acton the next day. The Tour includes rest stops, meals and finish-line festivities. Support vehicles, bicycle repair shop staff and experienced cyclists provide first aid and basic bike repair services along the route.

This event occurs on the heels of an announcement that the federal government will fund CCSVI and MS clinical trials. CCSVI describes a treatment theory that suggests the unblocking of clogged veins will improve symptoms of MS. The topic of CCSVI is an important one for the MS community and people living with MS have asked for definitive answers. The MS Society has committed $1 million towards the cost of a nationwide clinical trial and together with the U.S. National MS Society, has funded 7 studies on CCSVI worth $2.4 million.

Momentum has never been stronger towards finding a cure for MS and supporting people living with it. The MS Society hopes the RONA MS Bike Tours will add to this growing momentum and bring us one step closer towards ending MS.

Kathy Cosman and her team "No Borders" rode in their first RONA MS Bike Tour in 2010, and have a goal to raise $10,000 as well as grow their team from 15 members to 25 for 2011. Kathy encourages others to ride, even if they think it will be strenuous. "When we're cycling and feel temporary discomfort, we think about the challenges that people with MS live with every day. We're all in this for the same reason. We need to find a cure." she says.

"Riding in the RONA MS Bike Tour is a special feeling... it really is", says Paulette Thibault. "It's different than just cycling for the fun of it like my husband and I do on holidays. It's fun too, but there's this extra element here of feeling like you've accomplished something." This is Paula's 17th year riding in the RONA MS Bike Tour - Acton to Waterloo with her husband Laurent.

Upcoming RONA MS Bike Tours in Ontario

Niagara Region - August 21

Toronto - September 11

For more information, to register, or to volunteer for an event, please visit or call 1-800-268-7582. For more information about CCSVI please visit

About multiple sclerosis and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

• Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord, and it is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada.

• Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last a lifetime.

• The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause, treatment and cure.

Please visit to make a donation or for more information.

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