Mike's Personal Page


This year was a difficult one as we realize that Sara's MS is getting worse. Our MS-150 experience was a different one for us this year and we had our ups and downs for sure. The ups were that we managed to ride 90 total miles for the 2 days which was much better than I would have expected based on our training rides. The bad news is that we never made it across either finish line. Now this certainly is not the end of the world, but does add a feeling of failing when it comes to the ride. I have to slap myself on the face and say; It is not how much we can ride, but the fundraising we have done for the support of this terrible disease. We need to solve this puzzle before it is too late and the $5000 or so dollars we will raise annually hopefully will get us there sooner.

We find it hard to do many of the day to day things that so many take for granted.

Like a nice walk after work on a wonderful evening in the country hand in hand.

Like a ski vacation where we take on the Rockies.

Like hitting the lake with our boat and doing some water skiing.

Like going to an event like the Taste-of-Madison or Art Fair on the Square which require allot of walking.

Like taking our dog for a nice long walk thru the woods.

Like skydiving.

Like riding a standard upright bike.

Like taking our Moped for a cruise.

Like cooking a big meal for some friends.

Like shopping and taking a cart just to have something to hang on to while walking thru the store even when needing only one item.

Like eating out more than most because it is just to fatiguing to make a meal.

Like crawling to the bed to recover after a shower.

Like un-expected falls that are down right scary and dangerous.

These are just a short list of examples of simple everyday things that we all do without giving it a thought. We don't even realize how life may be NOT able to do these simple things. Imagine the frustration that must go along with feeling like you can't do much of anything. I see it on a daily basis and I can't figure out how she can hold it all together and keep on going. I think I would be mad at the whole world and just a bitch to be around.

I guess we all have to come to terms with our own lot in life. We can't predict or explain why she or anyone else for that matter gets MS, but hopefully that will change soon. Most of you probably don't know what MS really is, as it is such a complex disease but here is a short layman's explanation. We all know about our immune system and if you asked most of us what it does the answer would be something like; It "protects" us from bad stuff. This is totally correct. It "protects" us by attacking bad things that we are exposed to so we stay safe. When a person has MS, immune cells called "T" cells also attack a good thing and that is Myelin. Myelin is a substance that surrounds and protects our nerve fibres. When the Myelin is damaged the nerve fibres loose there protective coating and now become susceptible to short circuit. When Sara gets fatigued, the electronic impulses from her brain to her legs, arms, hands gets interrupted and the communication is lost resulting in loss of balance, falls, needing a cane for balance, etc.  So basically, when you have MS, your own immune system that is there to protect you is also attacking you in a way that leads to clinical symptoms. We don't know why some get MS and some don't and why more women get MS than men, but we do know that MS is non-discriminatory and can affect any of us.

MS is difficult to conquer because it is so different for each person. Diagnosis has become much better and definitive with the MRI, but the symptoms can be anything from a mild numbing of the fingers to being restricted to a wheel chair or even blindness. But even with these challenges, researchers are making progress each and everyday to try to find the golden nugget that will solve this puzzle. This is where your dollars come in. They are badly needed to keep the research going and are the fuel for the cure we all strive for.

Next year we will train again and give it our best shot as this ride means the world to us. Thank you to all of our friends who have rallied around Sara and given her their support, both emotionally and financially. She really could not do it each day without all of you helping us move towards a cure.