A fight to end Canada's disease

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On August 16 and 17, residents in Moose Jaw will have the opportunity to be a part of 10,000 cyclists participating in 27 coast to coast tours all while raising $8 million for the MS Society.

This year the Saskatchewan MS Bike tour will be taking place in the friendly city to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis. 

"We really invite people to take part. Sometimes it can be a little intimidating but really all you need is a bike and a passion to end MS," said Virginia Harper, communications manager for the MS Society of Canada. 

MS is often referred to as Canada's disease because there's an estimated 100,000 people living in Canada with the disease, 3,700 of them living in Saskatchewan.

"The disease speaks to a lot of people and effects a lot of people's lives," said Harper. "Of course that doesn't count all their family members, caregivers or friends, because MS does effect everyone who is connected with that person."

The bike distances will be 100K, 122K and 150K, however, it is not mandatory to finish the tour. 

"There are people who come out with all types of bikes, and people of different ages and ability. Everyone is welcome, and there's always a lot of support for people," said Harper. 

There is a fundraising minimum of $295 for each rider, and all participants will receive a t-shirt, free food, and a ticket to attend the banquet on Aug. 16, where entertainment will be provided. 

"Not only will people get the sense of being part of something really great, they also get to have a lot of fun, eat some good food and hang out with a lot of cool people."

The K+S MS Bike tour is still looking for volunteers in helping out with the cyclist check in, being a route marshall, a rest stop worker, or cheering riders on at the finish line. 

For more information on how you can volunteer or register for the race, call 1-800-268-7582 or go to www.msbike.ca.

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Canada's disease: 

-Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of unknown origin that affects the central nervous system, most commonly among young adults. 

- One out of every 500 Canadians have MS, making Canada the country with the highest prevalence of MS in the world. 

-Everyday three more people in Canada are diagnosed with MS. 

-MS affects more people per capita in Saskatchewan than anywhere else in Canada. 

-MS is most often diagnosed in young adults, aged 15 to 40, but can affect younger children and older adults. 

-Canada is a world leader in MS research and each year the MS Society invests about $10 million into research

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