Island ride to end MS

Colwood rider goes solo from Island tip to tip to tip

David Cox rode through Parksville last Thursday on his MS fundraising trip up and down Vancouver Island.

David Cox rode through Parksville last Thursday on his MS fundraising trip up and down Vancouver Island.

By the time you read this David Cox will be comfortably back home in Colwood after a 1,200-kilometer ride up and down Vancouver Island he called the End to End to End Ride for endMS.

His unsupported solo venture from Victoria to Port Hardy and back was timed to catch the MS Bike Tour in the Cowichan Valley last weekend.

Cox did anywhere from 75 to 140 km a day on his solo trip and stopped by The News to explain his effort and encourage people to donate.

“I will do the sweating, pedaling and everything else. The key is to get people to open their wallets,” he said explaining his inspiration is his niece Leslie who ended up in a wheelchair soon after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 31, almost 20 years ago.

The MS Society of Canada has held rides for over 20 years and this weekend’s was scheduled to be Cox’s 17th MS Bike Tour. He has done over 40 fundraising tours passing 4,000 km before the current adventure.

The 65-year-old did his current Island ride for the first time in 2009 and intended to do it last summer but had to skip it to recover from a shoulder fractured during training.

Cox encouraged people to watch out for the symptoms of the common disease of the central nervous system including blurry vision, fatigue, cognitive issues, paralysis and muscle weakness among many others.

“It is usually diagnosed during our family and career building years, the years that feel the most promising and exciting,” he pointed out.

The MS Society provides support services and funds research into the causes and treatments including “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” or CCSVI, known as the Zamboni procedure that has gained a lot of attention in the last couple of years.

For more information he recommends people check out http://mssociety.ca, http://ccsvi.ca and http://www.ccsvi.org.

As of Aug. 12 he had raised over $5,000 and was hoping the total keeps rising. People can donate to his ride until August 28, search his name under the “donate now” and “pledge a cyclist” links on the MS site. You can also find more on his story there.