Thousands of cyclists ride to Austin to fight MS
AUSTIN, Texas - Tyler Campbell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, at the age of 21. He says it means the world to him to have people by his side.
"You get a new disease. Not knowing how to handle it, don't know who you can talk to, don't know what support or how it could be achieved. It's hard enough talking about the disease. Then you see people, who are total strangers to you, they're out here riding for you even though they don't have any affiliation with you. They're riding to help you have a better opportunity with this disease, and hopefully one day beat this disease," says Campbell.
On Sunday nearly 12,000 cyclists from across the country rode in the 31st annual BP MS 150, supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The trek was from La Grange to Austin.
The weather caused a minor setback though. Day One was canceled and the ride was shortened. It was supposed to start in Houston but nothing could stop riders from spreading their message.
"20 years ago, when a person was diagnosed, there was basically no treatment available and now there's over twelve treatments. That type of progress, in such a short amount of time, is very hopeful for us," says Kelly Dreiling, National MS Society.
Dreiling says that progress is made possible through events like the BP MS 150. It's able to change the course of action for patients living with the disease.
Multiple sclerosis affects about 2.3 million worldwide.
"We hope to stop the progression, we hope to restore the loss of function and basically end the disease forever," says Dreiling.
The National MS Society hopes to raise $20 million by July to support services and programs.
Campbell says its much needed.
"There are opportunities for medication, support groups, all those things that as a patient living with multiple sclerosis, that we need. These rides make it possible," says Campbell.
Campbell is confident that with the help of people around the world, things will continue to get better.
"We're going to beat this disease sooner or later. It's going to happen. I can't wait for that day," says Campbell.
They've already raised $15 million and need another $5 million to reach their goal.
If you would like to help, you can go here.