Craig duo pedals for MS cause |

Craig duo pedals for MS cause

Liz King

Dylan and Garrett Schopper gave up two days of their summer to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis affects over a third of a million Americans. It is a chronic and often disabling disease that effects the nervous system in the body.

The two brothers decided almost three weeks ago to enter the Great-West MS150 Bike Tour when they were racing in the

Steamboat Criterium.

Racing runs in the family, the young men’s father has raced in Texas for about 4 years and has participated in the MS150 in Texas.

“We heard about his racing and we thought it would be fun,” Dylan said.

Dylan had been riding his road bike for about a month and his brother for almost half a year.

“The week before we road about 30 miles a day,” Garret said of how they trained for the brothers’ first race in Steamboat. “Normally you want to train for a couple of months.”

“We raised $600 in two days,” Dylan said.

The young men raced on a team of five and the team captain was Lee Cox, a math teacher at the Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat.

“We did really well,” Dylan said, “We finished (the last day) at 11 a.m.”

The race started on July 12, at Level 3 by the Flatirons Mall in Broomfield and went to Estes Park, where the racers spent the night and then went back to the mall. The whole trip totaled 150 miles.

“There were hundreds of tents and a big pile of bikes,” Dylan said of the Estes Park High School where they camped. “There were these security guards patrolling the bikes all night.”

The riders, according to Dylan, were diverse and came from all walks of life and experience levels.

“There was one guy who didn’t have legs and so he pedaled with his arms,” Dylan said.

But Dylan’s favorite part was meeting new people.

“You would get into the runs with these people and everyone is going 30 mph and everyone has a story to tell,” Dylan said. “There were people from all over the state and outside.”

The brothers spent a total of 12 hours on the trip — seven hours on the first day and five on the second. They entered the race because they said they believed in the cause and even though they do not personally know anyone with the disease, they will continue to participate in the event.

“I will probably end up being a business consultant somewhere,” Garrett said of his plans he earns his degree in international business, “and even then I will be riding in the MS 150.”

Possible sidebar:

Q. What is multiple sclerosis?

A. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs or severe-paralysis or loss of vision. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 but the unpredictable physical and emotional effects can be lifelong. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease.

Q. How widespread is multiple sclerosis?

A. Over a third of a million Americans have MS. Every hour someone learns that they have MS.

Q. What body functions are affected?

A. Balance and coordination, vision, speech and sometimes bladder, bowel and sexual function can be impaired as multiple sclerosis blocks or scrambles nerve messages.

Q. Are there specific treatments?

A. After many long years of research, there are now three drugs that can reduce relapses and slow disability in many people with MS. The Society strongly recommends that people with relapsing MS (the most common form) see their physician about starting one of these treatments — the sooner the better.

Q. What help is available?

A. When MS strikes, families can turn to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for assistance

Information courtesy of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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