Join Attorney Rick McDermott in the Fight To End Multiple Sclerosis!

I know we normally come here to discuss important intellectual property issues, but today I’d like to get a little more personal. As most of you know, I’m passionate about making a difference in the community, both locally and nationally. That’s why I’m reaching out to you today to talk about Bike MS – the largest fundraising cycling series in the world, raising critical money for research, programs, and ultimately, a cure for multiple sclerosis.

First, I’d like to explore what MS is and how I got involved in this passionate work.

The Impact of Multiple Sclerosis

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “Multiple sclerosis is a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system (“CNS”) and controls everything we do. The exact cause of MS is unknown, but we do know that something triggers the immune system to attack the CNS. The resulting damage to myelin, the protective layer insulating wire-like nerve fibers, disrupts signals to and from the brain. This interruption of communication signals causes unpredictable symptoms such as numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory problems, pain, fatigue, blindness and/or paralysis. Everyone’s experience with MS is different and these losses may be temporary or long lasting.”

Today, nearly one million people are living with MS in the U.S. Because diagnosing the disease was much harder early on, previous estimates were not even half that number, leading to questions about whether people are getting MS at a higher rate today or that previous estimates just didn’t capture the reality of the disease.

My Connection to the Disease

This is where I, Rick McDermott, come in. My journey in fighting the disease started back in 1995. I had recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and, at the time, thought two of my sisters were dealing with the disease. My sisters both had symptoms that led us to believe they might have MS, but the challenges in diagnosing it made it difficult to say for sure. As I was thinking about how to get involved in my new community, this possibility inspired me to get involved in a local chapter fighting MS.

Ultimately, my sisters were diagnosed, and are still fighting today, a different neurological disease. This didn’t slow down my determination, however, because I had already met so many people who were either fighting multiple sclerosis themselves or were fighting on behalf of a loved one who was impacted by MS.

You can read more about my inspiration and involvement in this Charlotte Magazine Article from 2014. I’m now nearly 30 years into my fight against MS, and I’m no less passionate about our work.  In fact, a world free of MS is closer than ever, which makes our work even more urgent. When I first got involved with the National MS Society, the first few therapies for certain types of MS had just been introduced. Now, there are over 20 different treatments available for people diagnosed with MS. Despite the significant progress that has been made, however, there still is no cure for MS. There are still people being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and having to hear, “you have MS.” I currently serve as a trustee for the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society, and I also serve as a member of the National Board of Directors & Trustees of the National MS Society. I won’t stop until there’s a cure for MS.

How You Can Help

This is where you come in. This year – in just 10 days – I’ll be getting on my bike and riding in my 19th Bike MS ride. The 2022 Bike MS Tour to Tanglewood ride will take place on September 24th and 25th in Clemmons, North Carolina.

In honor of this being my 19th year riding and fundraising in Bike MS, I am determined to raise $19,000 for this incredible cause. You can help me out with this goal by donating today and getting us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis. I know this is possible.  We have made so much progress, and we are getting close to the finish line. This isn’t the time to stop, so please join me in this fight and let’s end MS for good!

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