Taking On Multiple Sclerosis
Boston Marathon horror cannot stop MS 150 cyclists from fighting on: One rider finds courage in her brother
With the tragic Boston Marathon bombings still dominating headlines after a surreal Friday, area bicyclists are taking to Texas roadways on Saturday and Sunday for the BP MS 150 ride from Houston to Austin.
"Luckily, we have a longstanding relationship with law enforcement across the state. All riders and supporters should know that we're be working closely with local agencies to ensure all the needed precautions will be taken."
Duncan MacKenzie-Williams will proudly be among the 12,000 participants taking to the streets in this year's event — just not on his own bike.
"It's incredible that people from around the world, who have never met me, are willing to donate and support the cause."
"It happened in about two weeks before last year's BP MS 150 when I was doing a 55-mile practice ride," he tells CultureMap. "I'm not sure how the driver didn't see me. I was wearing fluorescent clothing and, I'll admit, I wasn't particularly slim at the time."
The accident, which occurred near Baytown, left the 50-year-old British-born engineer in the hospital for three months with countless severe fractures. It would be another eight months of rigorous therapy before we could return to work.
With a broken pelvis, shattered leg and eventual bout of pneumonia, April 2012 proved to be a trying time, to say the least.
But to keep his spirits up and his bike-riding commitment intact, MacKenzie-Williams' sister in the United Kingdom recruited Scottish cyclist Fiona Wallace to join her on a 150-mile trek across Britain. The two eventually raised more than $3,000 for his BP MS 150 fundraising efforts via a quirky Facebook account titled Doin' the Distance for Duncan. (Quirky, because the page is "operated" by stuffed bears . . . which is kind of awesome.)
A year later, MacKenzie-Williams is still nursing a broken leg, although he insists his struggles are a far cry from those of people living with multiple sclerosis. Once again, his sister and Wallace have decided ride — but this time they're coming to the Lone Star State.
"Those cuddly toys have already collected a lot of money," he laughs.
"It's incredible that people from around the world, who have never met me, are willing to donate and support the cause. This is all really quite touching, especially after what's just happened in Boston."
Look for MacKenzie-Williams this weekend in La Grange, where he'll be cooking up food and rooting for his proxy riders from the comforts of a rented RV.