During the ride for BTUSFMS, we stopped in Charlottesville, VA for an appearance at the James Q. Miller Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. While there, several individuals living with MS spoke, and several of the cyclists were interviewed about taking part in BTUSFMS. I was approached about being interviewed, but I declined. At that time, I couldn't maintain my composure when talking about why I was cycling. Mom's death still hurt, and thinking about how she suffered the last few weeks of her life brought on the tears.
Today I presented my experience with BTUSFMS to a fairly large group. When I began, I explained why I decided to do the ride--for my mom--and I felt so strong, so confident when I explained how she had been diagnosed with MS, how she eventually lost her mobility, and how MS has no cure. While a twinge of sadness grabbed my heart when I thought about how she lost the battle to MS, I was able to continue on, showing the group what an amazing summer I had cycling across the US.At the end, I fielded questions. In the process, I learned how one gentleman used to live in Pittsburg, KS, and how another gentleman knew exactly what I meant when I said Telluride, CO was a sparkling gem nestled between the mountains. I walked away from this morning's presentation knowing I had connected with many in the room.
I am and always will be grateful to BTUSFMS for what it is doing. Not only is it raising much needed funds for MS research, but it is giving people like me an opportunity to find the strength within to face life head on. Because of the ride, I'm more confident. Because of the ride, I'm not afraid of the unknown. Because of the ride, I know I am capable of achieving whatever I set out to do. Most of all, I can think about and talk about Mom without succumbing to the tears. Her story helps others, which is what's most important, and I hope I can keep telling it for a long time to come.