Friday, September 3, 2010

The Road to Making a Difference

Biking Family Evan,April,and Owen

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society 2010 "Jack and Back" annual bike ride presented by Jack Daniels is being held October 2nd and 3rd this year. The starting line will formed at Paige High school in Franklin TN. The ride is a 150 mile, two day bike ride. Riders will be allowed to camp-out overnight at Motlow College in Lynchburg, TN before making the journey back to Paige High school on October 3rd.

This year, veteran rider to this event, Evan Baird and his newcomer wife, April Baird, are up for the " Bike to Jack and Back" challenge. Evan has been making this run for the past six years now. April decided to join her husband on the actual bike ride this year. She has been doing volunteer work along the bike route for many years now. She has enjoyed mingling with other volunteer's and riders that stopped at her refreshing stations. Many of the volunteers themselves are in various stages of battling MS and many of the riders ride in honor of someone they love. April has enjoyed her work as a volunteer and listening to stories about how people deal with this terrible disease is inspirational and unforgettable. One particular story about a rider she met along the way pulls at her heartstrings every time she thinks about his story. Two years ago, when April volunteered, there was this rider and he was the VERY last rider. She was working the 2nd to last rest stop and it was super hot that October. They got word he was about to be at their stop and they got water and snacks ready for him. He looked rough. His bike was old, he didn't have a jersey (just a cotton shirt with the sleeves cut off), and didn't even have cycling shoes. She asked him why he just didn't take the SAG (support and gear) wagon wasn't a big deal. He told her that his wife has MS and he was riding for her. He would see how rigid her walking had gotten, how her hearing varied at times, how her speech had gotten worse and she couldn't drive anymore. He called her at every rest stop. He called her while April was standing there and she about lost it. He told his wife he was almost there. He hoped she was feeling okay, that he loved her, and would see her at the finish line. Such a moving story about the love this rider had for his wife and he wasn't about to give up on doing this for her.

Along with the beautiful and amazing people April and Evan meet doing this very touching event, they also ride this race to make a difference. They have a passion to help the cause this bike ride supports. MS or Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory disease that effects the ability of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. At this point, there is no cure for this crippling disease. While MS is such a terrible disease, there is little public promotion to help raise awareness. There are socks, pens. shirts, notepads for many other terrible diseases, but MS, for the most part, just gets left off the list. This bike ride is an important way to raise awareness and funds for a disease that affects so many lives. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society not only raises money to fund future research in search of cures, but a percentage of the funds raised actually go to patients and families suffering from MS.

The combination of the challenge of the ride, the love of the people and the importance of raising awareness and funds for MS make this 150 mile, two day "Bike to Jack and Back" a 'can't miss' event for Evan and April Baird. This year the couple hope to complete each days ride in 5 hours. They also hope to raise their share of funds to donate to such a special cause. This charity bike ride raises an enormous amount of funds for MS and people come from all over the country to participate. Last year there were over 800 riders and each year that number increases. Find out how you can be part of the battle against MS and support the patients and families that have fallen victim to this disease. There are so many ways to help volunteer, sponsor a rider, and if your an adventurous biker, sign up to participate in the ride. No matter how you choose to help, be confident that you are making a difference.

Special note if you would like to sponsor Evan or April Baird click on their names anywhere in this article for a direct link on how you can become a sponsor and help make a difference. If you would like to volunteer or join the bike ride(must be 18 years of age to register) click HERE!

Special Note: This story also appears at


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