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Open thread Friday: Can I ask you a huge favor?

Le Tour de France 2017 - Stage Twenty One
Pictured: not me
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Hi there! This post will have nothing to do with Arsenal, soccer, or anything related to that, so if that’s something you’re not interested in, feel free to move on to something interesting to you.

Still here? Awesome! Something you may or may not know about me, if you’ve been around here a while or otherwise know me, is that once a year, I do a massive fundraising effort. I raise funds for MS research and support for people living with MS, because my mother was one of those people.

She was diagnosed with what is now called primary progressive MS in 1970, when I was but a single year old, and she died from complications of MS in 1983. In that time, even as a kid, I saw what MS can do to people, and it was horrifying. The good news, though, is that in the 35 years since my mother died, there has been an amazing amount of progress made in the research about causes of MS, in the treatments for MS, and in the ability to help people live with MS and still live their best lives despite the disease.

There’s no cure yet, but there are several effective treatments that allow people with MS to live as complete a life as they choose to live - in my association with this bike ride, I’ve met people for whom riding around the block is a huge accomplishment, and was made possible by drug treatments that have been developed in the last decade, and I’ve got a friend with MS who just completed the Race Across The West, a feat that I can’t even imagine attempting, much less finishing.

A big reason for that progress is the MS Society. The Society does a tremendous amount of fundraising and work in order to end MS forever - they fund studies all over the world, they fund research efforts, and at the local level, everywhere they are, they provide support and resources (both financial and indirect aid, such as connecting people with support groups and local assistance) for people living with MS.

One of their main fundraisers every year is Bike MS. Bike MS is a two-day ride, which in Oregon takes place the first weekend in August, that raises money to support the research and programs driven by the Society. This is a cause that’s very close to me - I’m obviously not a doctor or a research scientist, but I also don’t want to see any family go through what my family went through when I was a kid.

So, I do what I can - I ride. I am a fairly avid cyclist anyway, and this is a natural fit for me - I can do what I love to do, and raise a ton of money to support the MS Society while I do. This is my 11th Bike MS ride, and in that 11 years, I have raised well over $25,000 for this fantastic organization and cause - including 2016, the year that y’all helped me raise so much money that I got a tattoo because of it.

While there’s not going to be a charity challenge this year - we couldn’t pull one together in time, unfortunately - I am here today, virtual hat in virtual hand, to ask you to support me in my bike ride. If you like what you read here at the Short Fuse, if you value what we do, I hope you’ll consider throwing a few bucks my way as I pedal my fat old ass either 65 or 80 miles (depending on how hot it is on the day) toward a day when we can end MS forever.

To learn more about the MS Society and what it does, check out this link.

I don’t ask for much, and I won’t ask often, but this cause is very important to me, as is the Short Fuse, so hopefully if what we do here is worthwhile to you, you’ll consider supporting me and what I’m doing as a way of showing your appreciation. I would be thrilled if you’d donate - even $10 makes a huge difference, especially if everyone reading this post right now gives that $10. More is, of course, wonderful, but anything you can see fit to donate would be appreciated more than you can know.

Thank you for indulging me, and thank you in advance for your support. Now back to your regular Friday open thread. Excited about the third place game? Who do you want to win the final? This is the rare final I am not super partisan about - I think I want France to win, but I would not be at all upset if Croatia won.