Cyclists Raise Millions for Multiple Sclerosis Research

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BOONE COUNTY - Organizers of the annual Bike MS fundraiser said Saturday they hope to come close to last year's fundraising total.

Dan Friedman, Director of Marketing and Communication for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Gateway Chapter, said almost 3,000 riders took part in the race this year. He said there were slightly more riders last year, but he estimates the chapter has raised about the same amount of money as they had at this time last year. He said final numbers won't be available for another month. Last year's Bike MS raised more than $2 million.

Steven Becker, who has ridden in the event for the past five years, said he likes the fact that three different routes are available for riders with different abilities. He said Saturday morning's cool, sunny weather was perfect cycling weather.

Thy Huskey, a rehab physician who has multiple sclerosis, said she is always impressed with the bikers' energy and effort.

"It's an incredible event," she said. "The bikers always outdo themselves."

Huskey specializes in patients recovering from brain injuries such as strokes. She said she considers herself fortunate to have multiple sclerosis because it gives her greater insight into what her patients are dealing with. In addition to her duties as a physician, Huskey teaches at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

This year's Bike MS continues on Sunday with another set of routes.