Monday, September 24, 2007

Victory Tour for MS 2007 - Robert Bertolas on PEI

This blog's readers come primarily from two communities; the running community and the autism/autistic community. I believe it's pretty clear to all of you that Alex is both autistic and a runner. Many of you in the autism/autistic community and some of you in the running community also know that I have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Everyone in PEI's running community know I walk with a cane, some of you, from both communities, know it is because I also have a diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis. I have balance issues (notice my very wide stance when I'm standing at a water stop holding out a cup in each hand!). I can walk unaided when I put physical and mental energy into maintaining balance, the cane helps me use that physical & mental energy elsewhere. I can ride a bike as long as I remain seated and exert that extra energy needed to maintain balance. I have other MS related physical issues and a number of MS related cognitive ones. I was diagnosed in 1996, when I was 36, my history showed I likely had it since my early 20's.

When we were on the way home from the Miscouche Firefighters 10 Miler Saturday I noticed 2 trailers by the Esso exit to Summerside with "Caution Runner Ahead" on the back and "Victory Tour for MS" on the side & back. Caught my eye so I stopped to see what it was all about.

There I met Robert Bertolas and his crew replenishing their supply of propane. It was a "day off" for Robert on his Tour and I had a nice little chat with him and Suzanne Couchman, the Campaign Manager for The Generex Biotechnology / Jaymor Group Victory Tour for MS 2007, and CAO of Crossing Bridges Inc. Here's their website - . Robert left Victoria BC on March 3rd and has been running, cycling and roller blading his way across Canada. He planning on finishing up in St. John's Newfoundland on November 25th. Robert has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years since he was diagnosed at 19 years of age.

"I thank God everyday, that he has allowed me to be in the physical condition I am currently in. I have been given a small window of opportunity to make a difference in my own life, and to show people you CAN live life to the fullest, even if you have Multiple Sclerosis. I am running for everyone who has MS, including myself, I am running to raise awareness and to find a cure ." - Robert Bertolas

"Robert is a warm hearted, confident individual with a zest for life that is very rarely seen. Nothing dampens the spirit or squashes the enthusiasm of this determined man, as he strives to reach the many goals he places in front of him.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 19 and weighing close to 300 pounds at that time, losing a significant amount of weight would be the first of many challenges Robert would triumph over in order to live a better, healthier life.

While losing weight and getting into better shape, Robert discovered over time, that his hard work and dedication to becoming fit ended all of his MS attacks and discomfort. He knew right then he had stumbled across a major factor that could help many people suffering with multiple sclerosis to be able to have a hopeful more positive outlook for their own lives.

Robert makes guest appearances speaking at different MS Support Groups. He devotes much of his time giving inspirational talks one on one and to groups of enthusiastic listeners who crave his unstoppable determination. Robert is a regular guest speaker at the running room, and he is quickly becoming a household name in his home town and across the country.
If there ever was a man to stand up for what he BELIEVES in, that a cure for Multiple Sclerosis will be found, Robert is that man ! He will make Canada proud, and be an inspiration to all those who need encouragement, He will show North America that One Man, following his dream CAN make a difference."

Please watch for Robert out there on PEI this week. They've parked their trailers where they're staying at Brudenell while they're here but watch for his support vehicle with the "Victory Tour for MS 2007" banner.

Consider donating to his very good cause and/or joining him for a kilometre or more. Your generous donation will be given to the Myelin Project of Canada. Their dedicated researchers are working hard to find a cure for MS, leukodystrophies and demyelinating diseases which affects more than 2 million people world wide.

Suzanne can be reached on her cell at 519-239-7062 if you want to find out where they'll be and when. He's running into Charlottetown & meeting Mayor Clifford Lee at City Hall at 1:00 and Alex & I are hoping to accompany him. I plan to update this post Tuesday night with his Wednesday route & times. He'd love to have the company so, Islanders, show him your warmth! *See the update at the bottom of the page.

Robert Bertolas
Suzanne Couchman
Crossing Bridges Inc.

Sponsors & Supporters

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Please Join Us...
Wednesday, September 26th, 12:15pm

Robert Bertolas will be leaving the Stratford Esso, complete with Police escort, heading for Charlottetown City Hall, tomorrow, Wednesday Sept. 26th at 12:15. Mayor Clifford Lee will be at City Hall to meet him at 1pm.

It's only about 3K one way so if you're available for a short run over the lunch hour, please join Alex and I and show Robert some support.

PEI RoadRunners support many charities throughout the year at fun runs and races but MS isn't one of them. Please consider giving Robert some monetary and/or moral support.

No comments: