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Thousands of cyclists will take to the streets of Melbourne on Sunday, 19 April, 2015 to pedal for a cause in the ninth annual MS Melbourne Cycle. They will be riding to raise $750,000 for p..
310 Montague Road, South Brisbane, Qld, 4101.
310 Montague Road, South Brisbane, Qld, 4101.
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Thousands of cyclists will take to the streets of Melbourne on Sunday, 19 April, 2015 to pedal for a cause in the ninth annual MS Melbourne Cycle. They will be riding to raise $750,000 for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common neurological condition in young adults. The MS Melbourne Cycle is a fun, non-competitive event suitable for all ages and fitness levels. There are two course options available – a 50 km course or the more leisurely 30 km. All participants will experience the spectacular views as they ride over Melbourne's iconic West Gate bridge – traffic free

Thousands of cyclists will take to the streets of Melbourne on Sunday, 19 April, 2015 to pedal for a cause in the ninth annual MS Melbourne Cycle. They will be riding to raise $750,000 for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common neurological condition in young adults.

The MS Melbourne Cycle is a fun, non-competitive event suitable for all ages and fitness levels. There are two course options available – a 50 km course or the more leisurely 30 km. All participants will experience the spectacular views as they ride over Melbourne's iconic West Gate bridge – traffic free!

To register or to find out more information please go to: www.msmelbournecycle.org.au.

The ride starts and finishes at Princes Park, Carlton. After the ride, participants can kick back and relax at Princes Park and take in the entertainment and food stalls – the perfect end to a fun-filled and rewarding day.

Entry fees for the MS Melbourne Cycle cover the significant cost of staging the event. This allows every dollar fundraised to directly contribute to the ongoing provision of services, support, treatment and information to enable people living with multiple sclerosis to continue to live full and uncompromised lives.

Paralympic Gold Medallist Carol Cooke and Steve van Ruyven are the Ambassadors for the MS Melbourne Cycle.

“I'm very excited and thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community cycling event. I've taken part once before and I strongly urge people to register as it'll be one of the best days you'll have. When else would you be able to ride across the spectacular West Gate bridge without traffic!” says Carol.

Carol was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 at the age of 36, after experiencing disturbing balance problems and double vision. The neurologist told her that “your life as you know it is over. Go home and put your affairs in order before you become incapacitated.”

Fortunately, Carol found the determination and spirit to defy what this doctor had told her. “After that initial diagnosis I did think that my life was over, but once I had information about what multiple sclerosis was, I decided that no-one was going to tell me how to live my life,” she says.

“I decided that multiple sclerosis did not define who I was or what I could accomplish and realised that knowledge is power. Nothing is impossible if we dare to face our fears and believe in ourselves. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

Steve van Ruyven was diagnosed in 1996 at the age of 33. This is the fifth time he has taken part in the MS Melbourne Cycle and he says it's a wonderful opportunity to ride with thousands of people united for one cause and to raise money to help people living with multiple sclerosis.

“The ride is a big challenge for many of the participants but everyone is so enthusiastic, and the encouragement of all the volunteers spurs people on,” says Steve. “Living with MS is not fun. For many of us we look normal and healthy, but are faced with daily challenges living with the disease. Participating in the MS Melbourne Cycle is an opportunity to show your support for friends or family living with the disease. The money raised allows MS to improve the quality of life of those living with the disease. And it's fun!”
“MS is a cruel disease that strikes people predominantly in their 20s and 30s, when they are building their careers, starting families and have the world at their feet,” said Robyn Hunter, CEO of MS.

“With more than a thousand additional people being diagnosed each year, the demand for services and the need for research only intensify.”

Registrations for the event are now open at www.msmelbournecycle.org.au.


Background on MS Ambassador Carol Cooke:
Carol Cooke is a Paralympic Gold Medallist, a World Cycling Champion, 2013 Victorian Cyclist of the Year (beating Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans), an Order of Australia recipient – and she has multiple sclerosis.

Carol was born and bred in Toronto, Canada where she fulfilled a life-long dream of following in the footsteps of her family and served as a member of the Toronto Police Force in Canada for fourteen years. She had it all – an exciting and fulfilling career and for a period worked undercover in the drug squad.
But life was about to change dramatically – for better and worse. Carol fell in love with an Australian, married in 1995 and moved half way around the world and settled in Melbourne.
She was 36 when she visited her GP because she was experiencing disturbing balance problems and double vision. She was referred to a neurologist who ordered an MRI and on 23 April, 1998 Carol received the devastating news that she had multiple sclerosis.
“I'd gone to the appointment alone as my vision had returned to normal,” Carol explains. “The neurologist breezed in, spent two minutes with me, and said, ‘You have MS. Your life as you know it is over. Go home and put your affairs in order before you become incapacitated.”
Fortunately, Carol found the determination and spirit to defy what this doctor had told her. “After that initial diagnosis I did think that my life was over, but once I had information about what MS was, I decided that no-one was going to tell me how to live my life,” she says.
“I decided that multiple sclerosis did not define who I was or what I could accomplish and realised that knowledge is power.”
Carol was a national level swimmer in Canada and was due to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics until international politics intervened and Canada was one of the countries to boycott in protest against the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
It would be 32 years before her dream of competing in an Olympics would be realised but this time it would be in cycling – a sport she took up as training for the Australian Rowing Team. At the 2012 London Paralympics, Carol won a Gold Medal in the Mixed T1-T2 road Time Trial – at the age of 51!
She has since added numerous other awards and achievements to her name including Victorian Female Para-cyclist of the Year (2012 and 2013); Dual World Para-Cycling Champion – T2 Women Road Race and Time trial (2013 and 2014); Top Elite Athlete with a Disability – Victorian Institute of Sport (2013); Female Sportsperson of the Year – Vic Disability Sport & Rec (2013); Victorian Cyclist of the Year – beating Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans (2013).
In January this year, Carol was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours in recognition for her significant service to sport and charity.
Carol started the MS 24 Hour MegaSwim program in 2001 initially as a one off event. It has now grown to include 17 swims running in Victoria, NSW and the ACT raising more than $6 million, which not only provides Go for Gold scholarships but also funds a Financial Assistance scheme and an Educational Program for people affected by multiple sclerosis.
Although living with the never-ending symptoms of this unpredictable disease, Carol has the strength and courage to get up each day with a positive and motivated attitude.
“I honestly believe in the power of positive thinking. That's not to say that I don't have bad days, I just try to not make one day turn into two. It's also important to surround yourself with positive people because it really does rub off,” says Carol. Nothing is impossible if we dare to face our fears and believe in ourselves. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
For more on Carol's inspirational story and amazing achievements please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfA8wJejvI

Background on MS Ambassador, Steve van Ruyven:

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