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Bikers raise money for controversial MS treatment
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:49AM MDT
For the first time ever, some of the funds raised during the MS bike tour will go towards CCSVI research - a treatment only offered overseas that some are heralding as a breakthrough for people living with the disease.
1,900 locals are taking part in the two day, 185-kilometre fundraiser this weekend. The initiative is in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, an organization that together with the U.S. MS Society is committing $2.4 million towards learning more about a procedure that's been garnering positive results for MS patients around the world.
CCSVI treats blocked veins in the neck of MS patients through balloon angioplasty. Thousands of Canadians are heading to other parts of the world for the treatment, because it isn't yet being offered in the country.
This year's bike tour, which travels through Leduc and Camrose, is the largest yet and expected to raise more than $1.5 million. Rides are also happening this weekend in Calgary, Red Deer and another one is planned for Hinton in September.
The MS Society says if the CCSVI procedure proves to be a valid treatment option, it will lobby Health Canada to make it accessible across the country.
With Files from Dez Melenka