Pedal power helps fund MS research and programs

Cowichan Valley Grape Escape is society's best fundraisers of the year

  • Jul. 3, 2013 6:00 p.m.

With 537 riders already registered for this weekend’s Cowichan Valley Grape Escape, the MS Society of Canada, South and Central Vancouver Island Chapter, is looking forward to one of its best fundraisers ever.

And the great news is that even if you’re not one of the many cyclists two-wheeling through the picturesque Cowichan Valley landscape July 6 and 7, you can still be part of the fight to cure MS, says Ashley Hodgins, manager of development, South and Central Vancouver Island chapter.

In fact, it’s as easy as visiting www.msbiketours.ca where secure online donations can be made in support of participating riders.

Part of the nationwide MS Bike Tour, the Grape Escape is a picturesque two-day ride through the Cowichan Valley, with several distances to accommodate different riders and numerous stops at wineries, farms and other unique destinations along the way.

One of the MS Society’s most important fundraisers, proceeds from the ride directly support both much-needed local programs for individuals living with multiple sclerosis and research to find a cure.

Canadians have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. The most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada, often diagnosed in young adults aged 15 to 40, multiple sclerosis is unpredictable, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility.

However, no one need face MS alone. Here on southern Vancouver Island, volunteers and MS Society staff provide information, support, educational events and other resources for people with MS and their families. Researchers funded by the MS Society work to develop new and better treatments, and succeed in the ultimate goal: a cure for MS.

 

In addition to the riders and their supporters, the annual ride wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of volunteers – 205 last year who contributed 1,170 hours of their time to make the ride a success, handling everything from early pledge drop-off to ride day activities.