Thousands of volunteers and cyclists gathered at the North Texas Fair & Rodeo in Denton on Saturday to support patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerves.
Nearly 1 million Americans are living with MS, increasing their risk of mortality by 75%.
Bike MS, a nonprofit that hosts cycling races to raise money for MS patients, has been hosting an annual “Round-Up Ride” in North Texas since 1987.
Cyclists rode all over DFW in routes that included Denton, Frisco, and Panther Island in Fort Worth.
Over 1,000 cyclists participated and raised just over $1,000,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The organization works with patients, healthcare providers, and community leaders in efforts to eradicate the disease.
Cait Juarez, a nurse at Texas Health in Dallas, attended the event as a volunteer to hand out medals to cyclists who finished their routes. She said that her work in healthcare inspired her to volunteer.
“I am a nurse, and one of the nurses that I used to work with in the emergency room had a mom who had MS. So anytime I see anything related to MS I always volunteer,” Cait Juarez said.
Juarez said that residents of DFW could do a lot to help the cause if they pitched in.
“Just look [MS] up. Donate your time, even donate water. Just come and help support. A kind word goes far with these people,” Cait Juarez said.
Her sister Kylie, a national honor society student at Truett Wilson Middle School, also joined her. She said she volunteers at events whenever she can.
“I’m in honor society, so I do a lot of volunteering. I saw this event and thought it was a good cause and thought I would help out,” Kylie Juarez said.
The next Bike MS event in Texas will take place in Midland on July 15 and 16.