July 27, 2019 1:05 pm
Updated: August 22, 2019 2:28 pm

Cyclists hope to raise $1.4 M for MS research, awareness as part of annual MS Bike tour

Nearly 1,400 cyclists are travelling from Grand Bend to London and back to raise money for the MS Society of Canada.

Shannon Greer, Global News

This week, the roads connecting London to Grand Bend will be buzzing as nearly 1,400 people hop onto their bikes and pedal from the beach to the city and back for a good cause.

The MS Society of Canada’s annual MS Bike tour is in full swing, and this year’s fundraising event hopes to hit a goal of $1.4 million.

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Katie Hill, an administrator with MS Society of Canada, told Global News Radio 980 CFPL that bikers are in for a weekend jam-packed with exciting events. Participants are scheduled to travel from Grand Bend Motorplex to Western University’s Perth Hall and spend the night there, according to Hill.

“They have dinner, [there is a] VIP ceremony, an evening ceremony… It’s just a really fun time,” she added.

READ MORE: Cyclists raise $1.4 M for MS research in 2-day trek from Grand Bend to London and back

MS, or multiple sclerosis, is sometimes referred to as “Canada‚Äôs disease” because Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, as reported by Statistics Canada. Why that is, however, is unclear.

According to Hill, MS is a disease that “affects the nerve, and it really debilitates people. It eats at the myelin that is covering the nerves, and when your nerves are exposed, that’s when they start to go bad.

“There are so many different types of MS that some people have the progressive [kind], and it gets really bad really quick,” Hill said. “But some people are able to manage it a lot better with the great medication that’s out there nowadays.”

READ MORE: MS Bike Tour celebrates 25 years of fundraising, cycling

By hosting an event where hundreds of community members gather to cycle together each year, Hill says the event aims to “… raise awareness for the MS disease and to help bring money to research and to help people living with the disease to live a better life.”

Currently, the fundraising bar sits below the $1.3-million mark, with $100,000 more needed to reach the goal of raising of $1.4 million this year.

Those wishing to donate can do so here.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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