They have already been on the road for one year. And before the tour ends where it began, in France, in July of 2015, this six man bike team from L’Odyssée de L’Espoir hopes to have drawn world wide attention to a pervasive and insidious disease, multiple sclerosis.
“We are on a world tour to speak about and raise awareness of multiple sclerosis in every country we visit,” said Yvan Guillovzic, one of the six volunteer bike riders who pulled into Morrisburg on Friday, October 3, 2014. “We personally do not collect money along the way, but we let people know that our website accepts donations. We will visit 23 countries in our journey, before we return home to France.”
The trip is very personal to Gerard Guillovzic, who travels with the team in a specially designed bike chair. He has MS.
“We also want people to see that this disease doesn’t have to limit the people who have it. They are capable of doing just about everything anyone can do,” said Yvan.
MS disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate. It can occur in isolated attacks or build up over a period of time. While symptoms may disappear completely between attacks, permanent neurological problems often occur as the disease advances. As of 2008, between 2 and 3 million people have been affected.
The causes of MS are still unclear. There is no known cure.
The point of the Odyssey of Hope is to make people aware of the spread of the disease and to push for the research which will finally find the cure.
The riders were en route to Brockville, and from there, were making their way to Toronto and Niagara Falls. They planned to cross into Rochester, New York, continuing their ride across the States. They expect to be in South America by the winter. The team is also filming their epic journey for a documentary.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Canada,” said Yvan Guillovzic, “although,” he added with a smile, “we don’t really want to be here in winter”.
Pictured are (l-r) Yvan Guillovzic, Benoit Le quentrec, Youhen Le quintrec, Thomas Balloy, Nicholas Lefevre and, in front, Gerard Guillovzic.
To get additional information or to make a donation to L’Odyssée de l’Espoir, go to www.worldtour-ms.com.