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Bike ride funds research for cure for multiple sclerosis. The ride takes place Aug. 3 and 4 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

COURTESY PHOTO  - Sign up to participate in or volunteer for the Bike MS: Willamette Valley, taking place Aug. 3 and 4 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore.

Nearly 500 cyclists are setting out to raise more than $600,000 to make a difference in the lives of nearly 1 million people with multiple sclerosis in the U.S. Cyclists will ride up to 160 miles over two days in the 35th annual Bike MS: Willamette Valley. The route will depart from Western Oregon University Aug. 3, loop through golden wheat fields and Willamette Valley vineyards, and return to Western Oregon University on Aug. 4. The event culminates with a special I Ride With MS Victory lap on Sunday morning, where individuals with MS are celebrated asa they ride for one mile around the WOU campus.

This ride celebrates 35 years of Bike MS in Oregon; however this year, Oregonians are more inspired than ever thanks to a new study conducted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which shows more than twice as many people in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis than previously thought. The previous studies estimated the prevalence to be 400,000, but this new study shows that number is closer to 1 million.

Each rider must raise a minimum of $250 to participate. with funds going toward research and assisting the lives of those living with MS. Over the course of three decades, millions of dollars have been raised by this event alone.

"Twice as many people need a cure and to know they have a community to support them," said Tracy Leeper, executive director of the National MS Society, Oregon chapter. "With each pedal stroke and fundraising dollar, our cyclists are bringing us closer to our ultimate finish line — a world free of MS."

Bike MS: Willamette Valley is one of more than 70 rides across the country hosted by the National Multiple Sc;lerosis Society. This year, more than 80,000 people are expected to participate in Bike MS nationwide.

The ride starts at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3; day one concludes at WOU between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Overnight festivities are planned for 6:30 to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 4 riders depart WOU at 7:30 a.m. and return to campus between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Route options range from 22 to 150 miles.

WOU is located at 345 Monmouth Ave., in Monmouth, Ore.

To register or volunteer to help with the ride visit bikeMS.org or call 855-372-1331 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

For more information about MS and the National MS Society visit nationalMSsociety.org or call 800-344-4867.


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