September 6, 2007
Have you ever felt trapped? My friend Ray feels that way a lot. Ray is an incredibly bright guy with a wonderful sense of humor and a big heart for helping others. Ray also has MS. His mind is still as sharp as ever, but he is trapped inside a body that won't cooperate.
Did you know, every hour, 1 person is diagnosed with MS in the United States?
So, a couple of other friends from church formed a team, "Tour de Ray," and are riding this week in the MS 150. Over two days, they'll be riding more than 160 miles by bike through Missouri. There were 10 people on the team, until now.
I'm number 11 on the team, and rider number 1747. Because of the nature of my work, I won't be able to complete the Sunday ride, so I'm compensating by riding the century loop on Saturday.
Frank's a cousin of mine, and he was diagnosed with MS in his 20's. He's spent the majority of his life in a nursing home because his body wouldn't cooperate.
Did you know, it costs an average of $500 for MS therapists to make house calls instead of treatments at nursing homes?
I bought a bike at the beginning of the summer, when my car died. It's an old road bike. In it's glory days, it was a racing bike on the West coast, if my internet research is correct. It's not made of aluminum or titanium or an alloy-composite, but steel, and is about twice the weight of most of my friends. But it's a good, solid bike.
Hopefully, on Monday or Tuesday or by next Friday when I can feel my legs and butt again (and barring tornadoes, multiple flats, or just getting lost), I'll post a picture of me on the Green Hunter coming across the finish line after my first century ride.
And I'll say a prayer for Ray and Frank and the thousands of others who feel trapped.