Recent diagnosis inspired a local woman to ride the Texas MS 150
HOUSTON - The annual Texas MS 150 returned to Texas roads, with nearly 6,000 people registered to start to two-day charity ride that ends in College Station, at Texas A&M's Kyle Field.
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Among them, was a young woman who discovered, just months ago, why so many people ride. Just a year ago, Andre Bedoy wouldn't have imagined a simple bike ride would be a big deal. That all changed on a hiking trip, last November, when a headache turned to lost vision, and the right side of her body incapacitated.
"I was terrified," she recalls. "I'm 25 years old. I was hiking one moment, and then I'm in the hospital, the next."
The diagnosis was multiple sclerosis, a currently incurable progressive disease that attacks the central nervous system, causing vision loss, pain, and impaired coordination.
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For some, the symptoms can be mild, while others have a much more severe experience. In the months since. Andrea was introduced to others in the MS community, including people determined to stay active and vital. It, inevitably, led to bicycling and the massive connection, through the MS-150, that it has to fight the disease.
"It just kind of happened," she says. "I was originally just going to ride the 50 miles, but with the support and love that I've received from everybody, I'm going to ride the full ride."
Despite some anxiety over the cycling challenge, Andrea says she's feeling pretty good, thanks to medications and therapy that have been developed, in part, with the money and support from the community. With it, she plans to stay connected as long as she's able.
"When I got out of the hospital, I wasn't able to walk; I had lost function on my right side," says Bedoy. "For me to be able to ride this two-day ride just a few months after, is pretty amazing."
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The Texas MS 150 is the largest event of its kind, in the country, with a goal of raising $10 million dollars, this year. It can be a big ask when a lot of budgets are tight. But, over the 39 years of the MS 150, treatment has advanced from virtually nothing to more than two dozen options for people living with MS.
"You look at someone diagnosed today: They get on a drug, and they could, potentially, never have a relapse or see any sort of negative progression," says the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Linda Best. "That's because of the impact we have, by giving as much money. It's a very different life, today, when you get diagnosed, than when we started this ride."
This year's Texas MS 150 charity bike-tour, to raise money for the fight against multiple sclerosis, was one that will be remembered for some time. The windy weather made for a challenging journey.
Learn more about multiple sclerosis by clicking here.