MADISON, Conn. – Hundreds of cyclists will come out to Hammonasset State Park in Madison this September for one last summer beach party during the 14th annual Bike MS: Cardio Express Ride 2009, Presented by Mohegan Sun. Participants will pedal for a cure to end multiple sclerosis while cruising through miles of picturesque Connecticut shoreline.
“This route is so beautifully scenic,” said Peter Rusconi, owner of Cardio Express gyms – the title sponsor of the event. “For a long time I’ve been a big advocate for getting a route that’s flatter and easier for cyclists.”
Before I began interning at the Connecticut chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I knew very little about the disease. I knew its motto was “help create a world free of MS” and I had no idea how much that entails. But working at the Connecticut chapter, I’ve witnessed the intense passion my coworkers have for raising awareness about the disease and support for those who have it, that I believe their efforts will lead to finding a cure MS.
I began my internship in January (it is also available for the summer). As a journalism major, I wanted to experience public relations, so I looked for positions on Husky Career Link. At first, I was primarily focused on improving my writing. It was not until I met and interviewed a 21-year-old who had MS that I realized there was a much more important aspect of my job. It was shocking to see someone my age battle a disease that robs mobility and independence. In just a few months he had lost control of his right leg and his vision deteriorated.
KILLINGLY, Conn. – Several weeks before his 21st birthday, Jonathan Benson noticed what he thought was a pulled hamstring. Just a few months later, he had no control of his right leg.
To make matters worse, Benson did not have health insurance. Although he was recently promoted to a part-time position at a Frito Lay factory, he needed full-time status to obtain coverage. So, as Benson’s limp developed into a drop foot and his vision deteriorated, he began working five days a week instead of three.
COLEBROOK, Conn. – Women Gone Wild is back by popular demand and participants are armed and ready for the fight against MS, literally. On Sunday, June 7, women will learn outdoor activities such as riflery, archery and skeet shooting.
The event, hosted by the Northwest Connecticut Sportsmen’s Association (NWCSA) in Colebrook, is for women interested in learning about the outdoors. Last year 11 courses were offered, including fly fishing, trap shooting, hiking, tracking and self defense.
SIMSBURY, Conn. – As an early Mother’s Day present, two kids are supporting their mom’s fight against multiple sclerosis in a new way. Terry Bridges’ two youngest children, Renee, 13, and Sam, 12, started their own Walk MS team in honor of their mom who has lived with MS for the past five years. They are the Hurricanes of Hope.
The brother-sister duo chose a hurricane to represent their team not only because it reflects their mom’s fight against MS, but also because it is their school mascot at Henry James Memorial Middle School in Simsbury.
CHESHIRE, Conn. – On Saturday, March 14, basketball teams will put the full court press on multiple sclerosis. In the spirit of fun, and fundraising, players will go head-to-head at the second annual Petit Memorial Basketball Tournament, Dunk It!
Last year the tournament raised $10,000 and participants seized the opportunity to be hoop-shooting stars for MS.
Tyson Oliver, captain of the team winning the adult division in 2008, said Dunk It! was a lot of fun.
STORRS, Conn. – On Sunday, April 19, University of Connecticut (UConn) band members will march to a different tune, performed by instruments of change. They’ll lead students, faculty and residents in the Travelers Walk MS at Storrs.
In 2008, walkers at the Storrs site raised $42,000, contributing to a statewide total of $1.23 million gathered from 12 walk sites.