In September 2020, the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation released a report outlining that on average 12 people are diagnosed with MS every day in Canada.
The Flahr Family has one son and six daughters, and of these six daughters, five were diagnosed with MS. Three are currently living with MS, and sadly, two have passed away.
After losing their Aunt Bernice and Aunt Niki to MS, Sacha Knorr, Trina Flahr, and Shelia Wilson decided that in the spring of 2014, they would join the MS Bike Ride, which encourages Canadians to ride and raise money and awareness for MS. “We wanted to do it for our two aunts whom we already lost and for our three aunts who are living with this terrible disease,” said Sacha.
“I remember sitting at my house and Sacha was over. I had a pamphlet from work for the MS bike ride and I asked Sacha if she wanted to do this ride, secretly thinking she would say no and that we should just do the MS walk instead. Sure enough, she said yes,” said Sheila.
“It felt right… I wanted to do something, and when Sheila asked, I knew this was it!” replied Sacha.
Now in their seventh year, Team Flahr has participated in the MS bike ride from Leduc to Camrose and back again, raising more than $65,000. Typically they would join 1500-2000 other riders on a 180 km/2-day journey to raise money for MS research, however, due to COVID, both last year and this year’s ride were moved to a virtual event.
After hearing this year’s ride was once again virtual, the group decided they would bring the event to Luseland, where their aunts and dad grew up, and where they still consider “home”.
“This is the first ride that our aunts, who we ride for, will be able to meet us at the finish line. Plus, not only will they be there to cheer us on, but our dad is doing the ride with us this year!” the ladies explained.
Of course, preparing for a huge physical challenge like this doesn’t come easy, and while all agree it takes a toll on your physically, it’s really the mental obstacles riders need to overcome. “The ride is a huge mental struggle. You question your ability to finish and your ability to keep going. Your body starts struggling, fingers and toes go numb, it hurts to lower your butt onto your bike seat, nothing feels good, my hip has seized up every year. We have to dig really deep and remember that we are riding for our aunts, and others who cannot ride, they experience this numbness regularly where for us it is temporary. Honestly, I would not have been able to finish the ride without my sisters pushing me, encouraging me, helping me mentally and physically,” explained Trina.
Be sure to come out to 701 Grand Ave in Luseland on Saturday, September 18th, at 8:45 a.m., when an opening ceremony will kick start the event. The ride will begin at 9 a.m. and wrap up between 12:30/1:30 p.m. with a finish line celebration. For those attending the event, there will be entertainment and a BBQ from 12 -2 p.m.
September 18th is the Canada wide ride to raise awareness for MS
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