Mahoning Valley residents invited to walk and bike for MS
By Jordyn Grzelewski
This weekend, hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley will rally to raise awareness and money for a life-altering disease.
On Saturday, the annual Walk MS event will take place at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Then on Sunday, Pure Cycle studio will host its Cycle for a Cure event at the fairgrounds. Both events benefit the National MS Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter.
The events also aim to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects tens of thousands of Ohioans and 2.3 million people worldwide. MS is a central nervous system disease that manifests itself in different ways in different people. For some, the disease is progressive, eventually causing paralysis. For others, it comes in intermittent “relapses” that punctuate an otherwise symptom-free life.
The walk begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“Walk MS is a joyous gathering with a wonderful ‘we’re in this together,’ feeling,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of the National MS Society, in a statement. “Together, we are accelerating progress in making life-changing breakthroughs so that each person with MS can live her or his best life.”
The anticipated 450 participants in the Mahoning Valley walk are expected to raise approximately $55,000 for MS research and supportive services, and the event is slated to raise $50 million nationwide.
On Sunday, cyclists will hop on Pure Cycle’s stationary bikes at the fairgrounds. For five hours, 60 cyclists at a time will participate, with some opting to ride for the entire five hours. Spots on the bikes are sold out, but Pure Cycle owner Shelly Colucci said there is plenty to do even if you’re not riding.
“We have a huge Chinese auction. We’ll have over 100 items,” she said. “We have all kinds of food. And we don’t charge anything.”
The event also will feature a bike safety course for kids, massages, a 50/50 raffle and Canfield police will be giving out children’s identification kits.
“It’s like a big party. We really do have a lot of fun,” said Colucci.
The event is in its fourth year. Colucci started the event partly because her grandmother has MS, and also because she met other people at the studio who are affected by the disease.
“It’s unbelievable how many people just here in our little studio are affected by MS,” she said.
In its first year, the event raised $5,000. Last year it raised $15,000. Pure Cycle hopes to top that.
“We all have to do something, and this is what we choose to do,” said Colucci.