Area cyclers raise money to aid MS
A Steele County couple is hitting the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin to raise money to aid in the cure for a crippling disease. Carl and Denise Wieman of
Owatonna took part in the 32nd Annual Multiple Sclerosis River Road Run this past weekend. The run was a motorcycle tour that ventured from the south metro and
went into western Wisconsin before ending up in Hastings.
“We ride for one reason—to help those with MS,” Carl Wieman said as he checked over his 1986 Honda Gold Wing prior to taking off Saturday morning from Leo’s South in Lakeville. “We ride to try and find a cure for MS. We ride because we can and for those that can not.”
The Wiemans have been coordinating the run, which attracts as many as 50 riders for the twoday motorcycle tour. They have raised more than $65,000 over thepast 16 years. The money raised from the fundraiser is used for research to find a cure for MS. The Wiemans have a personal stake in the ride as Denise’s niece, Lori Serbus, had MS for about 23 years before passing away in 2004 from complications caused by the disease. “We want to help others like Lori that have this devastating disease,” Carl Wieman said. “For us, hoping that they don’t have to go through what Lori did,” he said as he became choked up with tears.
“We’re hoping that some day we will find a cure for it.” The run even attracts some riders like Keith Franklin of Clearwater, Minn. He has the potentially debilitating disease, though he is able to
maneuver without too much trouble at this time. He was diagnosed with MS in 2000. “Mine is considered secondary. It’s a slower one,” Franklin, 63, said, noting he gets an infusion for the disease every 28 days.
So far MS has affected Franklin’s coordination and balance. The biggest hurdle he has faced is problems with one of his legs. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, 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 treatments are giving hope to those affected. The National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter, serves about 17,000 people with MS. It is a nonprofit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the cure, prevention and treatment of MS. Tax-deductible donations can still be given to the MS River Road Fun, Carl Wieman, 524 Glendale St., Owatonna. Folks can also access the campaign online at www.msmotorcycleride.com.