A letter from Jen Vetrovs, RN, BSN, who embarks on Bike the US for MS
Hello to all of you,
As many of you know, I am embarking on a big journey this summer. I will fly to the East Coast with my bicycle and will leave Bar Harbor, Maine on May 28 to start pedaling home to Seattle. I will be riding with an organization called Bike the US for MS, a nonprofit started by a young man whose mom has been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for many years.
I learned about this organization and their mission to raise awareness and funds to assist people living with MS from one of my patients at the Swedish MS Center. She had completed this ride several years ago … and of course, she completely inspired me.
Riding across the country is a huge leap compared to my daily bike commute to work. The ride will be 4295 miles and will take me (and the other small group of folks that have signed up to do this) nine weeks. We will be mostly camping at night, doing service projects for patients/families affected by MS at the end of our cycling days, and pedaling a lot. We have a few rare stays in hotels to sleep on mattresses and to clean up a bit. While I do not relish the thought of being away from my husband Al & son Cole for nine weeks, I am so very excited about having their support as well the opportunity to do this.
Many of you have already supported me in this endeavor…THANK YOU …as I get closer to the date of departure, I am more eager to reach my (new) fundraising goal. I was required to raise $1/mile to participate in this ride. I met the $1/mile requirement back before the start of 2017 thanks to the support of many of you receiving this email. However, my goal for this biking mission had been to raise $20,000. The goal was achieved on April 30, thanks to the amazing support of family, friends, patients and co-workers. I have been challenged by the founder of Bike the US for MS to break their single-year fundraising record which is $26,498. Fundraising does not come naturally to me, but I believe in the mission of this organization and have seen how our patients in the Swedish MS Center have benefited from their efforts. If you have already donated, but might know of anyone who might be interested in supporting this cause, could you please forward this message on to them? If you have not already donated, I am hoping you will consider it at this time.
Multiple sclerosis affects more than 12,000 individuals and their families in the Pacific Northwest. (There are approximately 400,000 people diagnosed in the US and roughly 2.5 million worldwide.) Often, when someone asks me where I work, they then tell me about the family member, neighbor, co-worker, or friend they know that lived or lives with MS. I feel blessed to be working as part of a team that is doing something about this unsettlingly prevalent disease. I work with an amazing team of neurologists who believe there will be a cure for MS in our lifetimes. I feel blessed to be part of that effort.
Thank you so much!
Jen Vetrovs, RN, BSN
Swedish MS Center