Aimee Luzier was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago. Michael Chalupa was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 16 years ago.
The day we met them was the day they did something they weren’t sure they’d ever do again: Ride a bike.
Let me set the scene. We’re in Seattle’s Maguson Park thanks to a Multiple Sclerosis Adventure program run by Swedish Medical Center. Volunteers from a non-profit are helping out. Aimee and Michael join several others and can choose from an assortment of adaptive bikes, such as three wheelers and recumbents.
Aimee hops on and announces: “This is the fastest I’ve moved since 2011.”
Aimee performed Off-Broadway in New York City. Theater was her life before she became a teacher. That’s all in the past.
As for Michael, he worked as a farmer and then in sales before he had to say he couldn’t do it anymore.
Cycling was his passion as his wife Janet explains.
“When I first met him he rode his bike for hours. 100 miles a day sometimes,” she said.
Sometimes became never. But today is different. Michael describes the feeling of riding for the first time in 16 years.
“It’s sort of like a sailboat on the water and you’re just letting mother nature and your body push you along,” he said.
No better feeling.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “I’m doing it and I’m moving.”
The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Adventure Program is open to all people with multiple sclerosis and their families. They also offer horseback riding, rafting, sailing, and photography for the participants. The next bike ride happens at Seward Park August 10. Volunteers from Outdoors will be out there once again helping out.