Lyndsay Wright is a true champion

Multiple Sclerosis can't keep her down as she helps others


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Photos



  • Lyndsay Wright jumps for joy at the "Barrels and Brews" 40-mile bike ride.




  • Photo by Kaitlyn McGrath The team photo, from left, Kaitlyn McGrath, Eddie McKeon, Lyndsay Wright, and her brother Chris Wright




  • Lyndsay Wright gives a big thumbs up.



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To contribute to MS research, send a check to:
New Jersey Metro Multiple Sclerosis Society.
1480 U.S. Highway 9 North, Suite 301
Woodbridge, N.J. 07095


BY GINNY PRIVITAR

Lyndsay Wright cannot be stopped. Despite being diagnosed with MS at 18, and originally unable to walk without difficulty, she’s participated in an MS walk and in the 40-mile “Barrels and Brews” charity bike ride to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research.

“A lot of people said ‘You’re crazy,’ but I did it,” Wright said.

“Barrels and Brews” was named for the Unionville Vineyard, which provided the start and finish for the race, and Saucony Creek Brewery, which provided refreshments afterwards.

About the National MS Society
The National MS Society seeks to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. The Society exists to make sure it doesn't. The Barrels and Brews bike ride was organized by the National MS Society New Jersey Metro Chapter. The non-profit organization helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.

A 'true champion'
During the bike ride, Wright was filmed by HeathiNation, a national leader in health and wellness videos in the United States. They have a video series on their website called “True Champions,” which features patient advocates who are helping to make a difference for others in their community. The Emmy-Award-winning series aims to provide inspiration to the millions of individuals who live with, care for or know someone with MS. Wright will be in an upcoming video in the series.

One of HealtiNation’s employees, Brendan Anderer, accompanied Wright on her ride; she was videotaped and had a ‘Go Pro’ camera attached to her bike. HealthiNation also did a follow up interview with her at the Cocktails for a Cure event in late September, which honored the ‘MS Stars’ - volunteers, sponsors, participants.

Amazingly, Wright only started biking this past June, preparing for the event.

“Everyone thought I was crazy. It was my first charity bike ride for MS,” Wright said. And it was 40 miles! When asked what else she does to stay in shape, she said she kick boxes three times a week. “I’m always on the go. I don’t stop.”

Team challenge
Yet she knows she has to pace herself with MS.

“There are days when I push myself to the limits and regret it the next day. ‘Cause you know you should have listened to your body.”

The Barrels and Brews bike ride was held in Ringoes, New Jersey, with the start and finish at the Unionville Vineyard. The route took the riders over rolling hills and the communities of Ringoes, Rosemont and Kingwood. The participants were grateful when police, positioned along the route, temporarily blocked traffic to let them pass. “Like (we were) celebrities!” Wright said.

The event raised $64,000 for MS research. Wright and her small team of three others raised a little over $2,600.

“We were really happy with that,” she said. Wright was the only one on her team with MS. Her bike was decked out in white and orange (MS colors) with ribbons and an engraved bell with the MS logo.

HealthiNation's new patient advocate

HealthiNation had been in touch with Alexis Stone, an official at the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. They were looking for a new patient advocate to feature and Stone suggested Wright. In an email, Stone wrote to Wright, “Your strength, courage and love for life gets me every time…you have not only inspired me, but so many others!”

Wright was keen, if a bit apprehensive, to do it. She said,

“They (the Multiple Sclerosis Society) can get me to do anything," said Wright. "I love it, though.”

“I’m dedicated, motivated and have love for the people who have to fight MS every day, like myself,” she added.

'Emotional finish'
The bike ride may have been grueling, but Wright was up to the challenge. When she finished, she, her three team members and the HealthiNation representative were all jubilant.

Wright describes it best:

"I actually cried. It was a very emotional finish for me. The people alongside me, even the guy from HealthiNation, said this is an incredible journey. When I was first diagnosed, I had trouble walking even and now that I rode 40 miles, it’s truly incredible and the emotions were just overwhelming when I crossed that finish line. It’s been quite a journey."

Wright’s courage, determination and joy are an inspiration, not just for those with MS, but for everyone.




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