HOUSTON – Everyone around the Houston-area knows Clay Walker, the multi-platinum selling country star. How about the multiple sclerosis (MS) advocate?
"When I was first diagnosed (with MS), I was told I'd be in wheelchair in four years and dead in eight," Walker said, "and here I am out here 21 years later, kicking off a bike ride with my good friend Bruce Culpepper from Shell."
Saturday marked the fifth annual Band Against MS bike ride, where 650 cyclists rode to raise awareness and funds for MS research.
"It's not just about the people who have MS, you see their families here, their friends here riding in the ride," said Walker. "Every year, this ride has grown."
The route starts off at the site of the Shell Houston Open loops around Lake Houston and ends right where it stated. Bikers have the option of taking the 23-mile route, the 32-mile route, OR the 67-mile route.
"It was awesome," said John Crump, one of the participants. "A little slippery going out, but coming back was beautiful, as soon as the sun got out."
Crump completed the 23-mile route and was one of the first ones to cross the finish line. This was his second Band Against MS bike ride.
"I think it's indicative of what our community is about," Crump said. "It's helping the people out, riding for a cause and standing up for the right things, and that's what we're doing."
"Sometimes, just having a good day goes a long way for people living with a chronic illness, and I'm glad that I could be part of that," Walker said.
The ride raises $100,000 each year to find a cure. As long as doctors are researching, these volunteers will be riding.
For more information about Walker's charity and MS, visit www.claywalker.com.