A note from my husband.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading up to Proctor High School in Duluth, MN on a bus with a bunch of strangers and some people I work with. Then, on Saturday, I’ll be riding my bicycle 75 miles to Hinckley, MN where I’ll spend a glamorous evening at Hinckley High School waiting for Sunday and 75 more miles of cycling to White Bear Lake, MN.
Why would I do this? Sometimes it feels like an unachievable goal. On Friday and Saturday night, I’ll be trying to find a place to hang a hammock on an athletic field. Maybe between the goal posts? There will be thousands of people I don’t know, which will grant me both a certain level of anonymity as well as a feeling of being out of place. I have a lot of sunblock packed, but I’ll be spending 6-8 hours in sunlight both days and it will probably all wash off in the rain on Sunday. And I’ve probably biked less than 200 miles so far this year, so I’ll nearly double my distance over a single weekend and easily double any distance I’ve biked in a day this year.
But the fundamental reason I’m doing this is that it benefits the National MS Society. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society uses money collected from this MS150 event to fund cutting-edge research, drive change through advocacy, facilitate professional education and provide programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
For one small example of surprising MS research, check out this interview on Science Friday with Larry Steinman who found that amyloid plaque, normally associated with Alzheimer’s disease actually improved MS-like symptoms in mice.
LARRY STEINMAN: [W]e decided to ask when we administered these amyloid molecules, would it make the mouse model of multiple sclerosis worse. That was our hypothesis because we knew that the molecules are supposed to be villains.
Much to our surprise, we found that when we administered them to mice who were paralyzed, they were able to walk around. And as long as we continued to administer these molecules on a daily basis, intravenously, we found that they were perfectly fine. When we stopped giving it, the paralysis recurred.
Now that you’re impressed by science, join many other atheists and freethinkers by donating to my ride and helping the MS society work toward ridding the world of MS. For the first $500 in donations made today, Stephanie and I will match your donation 50%. Even if you can’t give much, this is a way to give more.