UPDATE: Charity Bike Ride Has Personal Meaning For Midland Family

UPDATE: Charity Bike Ride Has Personal Meaning For Midland Family

More than 200 bikers will peddle 150-miles this Saturday and Sunday. They're riding toward a cure for the chronic disease of Multiple Sclerosis in the Bike MS:Cactus and Crude ride. And for the Parhams of Midland, the ride and the fundraising are very personal.
MIDLAND, TX (Local Big 2 News) - More than 200 bikers will peddle 150-miles this Saturday and Sunday. They're riding toward a cure for the chronic disease of Multiple Sclerosis in the Bike MS:Cactus and Crude ride.

The fundraising ride starts in Midland and finishes in Post, with riders spending the night in Big Spring.

For the Parhams of Midland, the ride and the fundraising are very personal.

"I think this year we broke $10,000 dollars raising for the ride," said Marcus Parham.

Marcus, his wife and oldest son will be riding in this year's Bike MS: Cactus and Crude ride. It'll be Marcus's fourth year, but his family's first.

"For sure it wasn't anything we ever thought that would affect us this personally," said Stephanie Parham, Marcus's wife.

The Parham's 11-year-old daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with MS about three years ago. The debilitating disease affects the central nervous system and currently there is no cure.

"It's tough just 'cause, from a big brother prospective, on what she's gonna have to deal with growing up," said Keagan Parham, Emma's oldest brother.

A year after Marcus's first Bike MS ride, Emma received the diagnosis. She was only eight-years-old at the time.

While MS affects people differently, Marcus tells me in three weeks, Emma's vision went from perfect to legally blind.

"Her main symptoms are, she gets tired very easily, she has lots of leg pain and numbness and tingling in her legs and her arms," Stephanie said.

Emma's vision has since returned. But the fight to find a cure for MS remains.

However, every year the Bike MS ride helps roll in a little more help for Emma and others with MS.

"It was just a few years ago, they had to get daily shots for medicine and now there's pills so, rides like this are making a difference," Marcus said.

This year's Bike MS: Cactus and Crude ride aims to raise $350,000 for the National MS Society, which will fund research and patient treatment.

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