In April, I plan to hop on my bicycle and take a ride to Austin, riding about 90 miles on my first day, camping out with about 13,000 fellow riders in LaGrange, and jumping back on that bike the next morning to finish with a quite hilly 80 miles or so to Austin.
Yes, I know, many of you may not have even known that I owned a bicycle since the banana seat days of my youth, and yes, you might also be surprised about the idea of me camping out… and waiting in long lines for a shower, among other things. But I’m in.
I’m riding in the MS 150 on April 12 and 13, a ride to raise money and awareness to battle the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis. I’m in for the challenge of the ride… physically and mentally. I’m in for the incredible spiritual experience I have every time I ride. And I’m in because I’m pretty darn healthy… and if I can help someone else stay healthy, or receive better treatment for her health challenges, I’m in.
I’m sending this to you to ask for your support in my ride. If you’re in with me, here are a few ways you could support me: FinanciallyOf course I, and all those suffering from MS and those yet to be diagnosed (One person is diagnosed with MS every hour in the United States, most between the ages of 20 – 50 years), would appreciate your financial support. If you are interested in contributing financially, my E-Donate link is: http://www.ms150.org/edon.cfm?id=211033 (At the end of this letter, I’m including some more information on MS and general fundraising questions. If you would like more information, I’d be happy to help.)
In Prayer One of my favorite parts about training for this ride is all the time I get to spend in prayer on my bike. I love riding along fields and just thanking God for more blessings than I’ll ever be able to count. (Just the fact that I have the opportunity to do this is incredible in so many ways.) And I’ve enjoyed praying for my family, friends and myself. I feel like I’m in an open dialog out there, and it’s pretty amazing. I even sing a few songs and my favorite hymn everytime I ride. It’s incredibly energizing to just shout out and sing to the Lord while you’re pretty exhausted. If I can pray for you while I’m riding, please let me know. And if you would consider praying for me either during my training weeks or during the ride, I would tremendously appreciate that, as well. And if any scriptures come to mind for me, I’d love for you to share them with me. (I’m trying to find a way to stick a few verses and a prayer list somewhere on my bike so I can look down for inspiration when I need it.)
With a Note Also, a simple note letting me know you’re thinking of me and wishing me well would be fantastic, too. I love warm fuzzies! (Who doesn’t?) I hope you don’t mind me being candid… it’s not often I ask for money, prayer or a “Thinking of You” note, but I feel like for this, I should ask. So please, pray about it, think about it and support me in whichever way you’d like. And if you’re interested, I’ll keep you posted on my progress. This weekend I’m going to tackle some pretty big hills with Gary. I’m a little nervous about it… But it will give me a taste of the toughest portion if the ride. I’m hoping it will prove to be confidence-booster… We’ll see! Thank you for support, in whichever way you decide.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS and are dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. The Lone Star Chapter serves more than 17,000 Texans affected by multiple sclerosis. Charity Navigator honored the Lone Star Chapter with four stars – its highest award for outstanding financial and service excellence. The Lone Star Chapter has offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. We are people who want to do something about MS now. Join the movement at txh.nationalmssociety.org.
Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis. Talk to your health care professional and contact the National MS Society at www.nationalmssociety.org or 1-800-344-4867 to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.
Tax Deductibility and Tax Receipts
The National MS Society, Lone Star Chapter is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization. All donations made to National MS Society are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Registration, transportation and other fees are not generally accepted as tax deductible. End of year tax receipts are sent to every individual donor of more than $250. For donations under $250, the donor’s cancelled check or credit card statement is sufficient evidence for IRS purposes. We will send a tax receipt to any donor who requests one.
Common Questions about Fundraising:
What is the Lone Star Chapter’s Tax ID?
To whom should checks be made payable?
Checks should be made payable to National MS Society. If a check is made out by a donor to the MS 150 or other related name, the bank should accept it. Be sure to mark your (the rider’s) name on the memo line of the check.
Where should I mail my fundraising checks? Please write my name in the memo line of the check. Please do not mail cash!
National MS Society
P.O. Box 4125
Houston, TX 77210