Man with MS biking across Canada to support research into a cure

Jonathan Allenger aims to raise $1M for MS Canada on cross-country ride

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by Mary Chapman |

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A young man shouts through a megaphone.

Jonathan Allenger, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) a decade ago, is planning to bike more than 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) across Canada to raise awareness and CA$1 million for MS research and patient support services.

Proceeds from the journey — set to begin on May 7 and conclude by June 26 — will go to MS Canada and its fundraiser MS Bike. More than CA$33,000 has been raised so far.

Allenger, an avid cyclist, will begin in Vancouver, British Columbia, and make stops in cities that include Calgary, Winnepeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Moncton before ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He and his team will camp along the route and rely on local communities for food and needed supplies.

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Canada has one of the world’s highest MS rates. One in every 400 of its residents is thought to have the progressive neurodegenerative disease, and 12 Canadians are diagnosed with MS daily.

Allenger’s diagnosis came a day after hearing his son’s heartbeat for the first time on a sonogram. While a longtime participant in MS Bike — which has raised more than CA$135 million through hundreds of rides — this is Allenger’s first cross-country trek.

“Since my diagnosis, I’ve felt compelled to raise awareness and fundraise through these rides to support MS research and resources,” Allenger said in a press release.

“It’s not just for my own hope for a cure, but for the entire community that I’m a part of. In the 10 years since my team has been fundraising for MS Canada through MS bike events, we’ve raised over $150,000. This time, I’m pushing to blow our previous fundraising efforts out of the water and spread awareness from coast to coast,” he added.

Supporters looking to track Allenger’s progress can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or on an MS Bike Across Canada webpage.

“This summer, I am embarking on a cross Canada bicycle trip to amplify awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) and to raise $1,000,000 to support the MS community in Canada,” Allenger noted on the webpage.

“A trip that I hope you will take part in … either by meeting with me at rest stops along the way, riding with me or simply sharing your knowledge of this project within your own networks. I am looking forward to speaking to Canadians about my challenges as a Canadian living with MS, my hopes and dreams for a world free of this disease,” he added.

BioScript Solutions, a Moncton-based company working to streamline access to specialty care for people with chronic and/or rare conditions such as MS, is supporting the expedition, including ensuring that Allenger has access to his MS treatments throughout the trip.

MS Canada, founded in 1948, funds multiple sclerosis research and provides a variety of support services to patients and their families.

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