Severe thunderstorms, torrential rains and persistent flooding set the stage for this year's BP MS 150 cycling fundraiser.
Not even the most extreme weather conditions deterred the LyondellBasell cycle team. Even with Saturday's activities canceled, more than 120 employees from 10 sites, family members and friends made the trek to Austin in the final leg of the ride.
"This event really hits home as my sister was diagnosed with MS in 2001 and it's amazing to see the participation from our employees and everyone around Houston," said Miraj Patel, planner in the HDPE department. "I'm proud to say this is my 11th consecutive ride and I've raised more than $100,000 for the cause. I've even become a ride marshal to help promote safety as part of GoalZERO."
The 2015 LyondellBasell cycle team achieved its $150,000 fundraising goal which included $35,000 in matching gifts. The fundraising and matching gifts continue through July.
More than 50 LyondellBasell volunteers from seven sites, as well as family and friends, braved the elements to support our riders with everything from updating everyone on the logistical changes with the race, helping riders at the starting line in La Grange, greeting and feeding them at the finish line and arranging transport of their luggage to Austin.
The BP MS 150 started out as a modest, yet meaningful fundraiser in 1985 with a couple hundred cyclists and now, has grown into the largest of the 100 Bike MS events in the United States with 13,000 cyclists. Participation in this amazing fundraiser supports LyondellBasell's commitment to giving back to the community and reinforces our support of health-related initiatives, one of our elements of engagement.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. As an autoimmune disorder, the immune system incorrectly attacks the person's healthy tissue. While there are medications to help slow down the effects of MS, there currently is no cure. Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. World-wide, MS affects approximately 2.5 million people.
In 2014, MS 150 reached a fundraising milestone by raising $20 million dollars to support the mission of the National MS Society. The fundraising goal for 2015 is $21 million dollars.