Tuesday, February 28, 2006

THF, MS4MS, TeamMS and Team MS Foundation

As you can tell, I've been a little busy at work the last month or so. Not much has been written in the blog other than a random post here or there. To be honest, I haven't had much to say - oh, I've thought of a few things, but didn't really feel the need to take the time and write them out. Maybe there was a little burnout happening.

But, in the last couple of days I've been inspired by a group of people that deserve to be talked about. I hope you will all agree.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is...well...yucky. I know that isn't a great term, but it fits. For those of you who don't know about MS it is "a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system" (definition from the National MS Society). Doesn't sound like fun now does it? Yucky is seeming like a good word now, right?

MS doesn't get as much attention as some of the other diseases that you might hear about but it is amazing how many people are affected by this disease, one way or another. Someone very close to me has lived with MS for 30 years. Not an easy road, which is why he's my constant inspiration. He'd tell you he's not amazing, just lives his life and deals with what he must, has a great attitude about it and moves on with his life. To me, this is truly inspirational.

There are a few other people I know who have been touched by this disease either because they have been diagnosed or have a loved one who has. They have put their energy into doing something - raising money and awareness to end this disease. I'm very lucky that they have come into my life in a variety of ways. They are all truly special and deserve to be talked about.

If you are a reader of this blog you know about the Tyler Hamilton Foundation. It was started in 2004, to, in the words of Tyler himself, "champion the two causes closest to my heart - competitive cycling and the fight against Multiple Sclerosis." The THF has been working hard on helping those with MS stay active and believe in their own abilities. Their fundraising auction ends tonight, but their mission continues on a daily basis.

Recently, I've been fortunate to get to know two energetic people with very kind hearts - Kory Souza and Jody Perewitz. MS has touched their lives and they, too, chose to do something about it. They organized an indoor motorcycle race, MS4MS, this past weekend with all of the proceeds going to the MS Society. They estimate that nearly 1,000 people attended, including racers and spectators. Not bad for something they whipped up in six weeks! They worked their butts off to get great prizes for the entrants and cool things for the raffles. They also organized a silent auction which had some unique items and drew quite a bit of interest. It was a great way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon. The final totals aren't in yet, but I'd venture to say they raised thousands of dollars for the MS Society. Congratulations to them both!

I met Jim Haraughty through work - our companies are partners. Over the past couple of years Jim has been working to fight MS, too. He started TeamMS Racing and has been working to promote the team's mission:

"Team MS is made up of a passionate group of athletes who are dedicated to
increasing the public awareness of multiple sclerosis and it's treatment
while setting an example that an active lifestyle is not
something that needs to be given up."

Jim and his team of racers has been very successful in educating their fans about MS and will continue to do so - their season starts in a couple of weeks in Daytona. However, this just didn't seem to be enough for Jim so he took it a step further....

I'm very happy to announce the start of the Team MS Foundation! The logo isn't quite done yet and the link on the website isn't there yet, but all the other ducks are in a row. Logo and web info will be coming within the next few days, but here's the mission statement straight from Jim:

The Mission Statement for Team MS is two fold. It is to drive awareness about
the illness and to promote an active life style for those individuals and
families living with this disease. A hunger for life is essential to a positive
mental state when living with MS. MS is an illness that does not
effect just one person, it effects an entire family when it strikes.

Jim goes on to say that the foundation will, "supply individuals and families living and dealing with MS, but who are being prevented from an activity because of financial hardship related to MS, an opportunity to participate."


As soon as I have more information on Team MS Foundation, it will be posted here.

Each of these people: Tyler, his wife Haven, Jody, Kory and Jim are wonderful people working to make a difference. Thank you all for your kind hearts and dedication.

Just a heartfelt tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

Yucky for some of us... but we are all lucky to have you around!

Love you.


Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

As you probably know Donna, I have an aunt with MS. I will be riding in the MS150 in Houston in April, for her, and I am really looking forward to it.

What a wonderful post!

Donna Tocci said...

Tim - good to hear from you! Hope you had fun with the team. The training will help you to get ready for the MS150!
Ed - love you, too.
Thank you both for stopping by and sharing your comments.