BRUNSWICK, Ohio - Nearly 2,300 cyclists awoke extra early Saturday and converged on Brunswick High School to do their part to help others in need.
The Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society held their 27th Bike MS: Pedal to the Point ride from Brunswick to Cedar Point in Sandusky and back over two days.
Organizers hoped to raise $1.5 million that will go toward MS research as well as services and programs provided in northeast Ohio for those impacted by MS.
Patti Substelny of Cleveland Heights was diagnosed with MS in 1997, about a month before her wedding. She showed her appreciation Saturday by holding up a big "Thank You" sign as biking teams, including one team riding on her behalf, rode past Patti at the start line.
"I think northeast Ohioans are incredibly generous. To get up and ride a bike for 150 miles speaks to the courage of their souls," said Patti. "They're wonderful people who do great things for people they don't know."
James Grady of Cleveland has participated in the Bike MS since 2000. He realized the challenge he was about to face was nothing compared to challenges MS sufferers endure.
"We can suffer on these bikes for miles and we can recover. These people have no recovery," said James. "We can pull into a stop and they'll be sitting there in their wheelchairs clapping and I'm hurting, I mean I'm dogged. The point is, I know I've got recovery and I know they don't and that in itself gives me the will to keep going and doing for them every year."
Ride organizers hoped every year would be the last year for the Bike MS: Pedal to the Point.
"Thank you for everyone who has supported us and given so generously to the organization and believe in our cause," said National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Ohio Buckeye Chapter president Janet Kramer. "We'd really like to find the cause and cure of MS and put ourselves out of business."