Kathi Roesler displays an award received at Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway.

Roesler Rides With Purpose

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Thursday July 21, 2016

Kathi Roesler will return to the Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway next month for the fourth consecutive year. She vividly remembers the motivation that led her to ride her bicycle 100 miles in this popular fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“It was the year my daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I said I was going to ride 100 miles and I don’t even ride a bike!” said the South Burlington resident.

She dusted off her old, “crappy” bike and pedaled 100 miles in two days and was so emotional when it was over, she burst into tears.

“Fifty miles each day. In Vermont, that’s quite an achievement,” she said.

The Green Mountain Getaway takes place August 6, and is part of the One-Day Bike MS series presented by Biogen, with cyclists embarking on 30, 60, or 100-mile routes. The ride starts and finishes at Community Drive Technology Park in South Burlington with the goal of raising $100,000 to fund MS research and help people living with MS to live their best lives.

Roesler’s daughter Caitrin, the youngest of her five children, was 30 years old and preparing for her wedding when she lost vision in one eye.

“I’m a nurse and it scared the hell out of me,” said Roesler, 67, who recently retired after 40 years as an operating room nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Caitrin’s vision returned and she has since only experienced mild MS symptoms, such as numbness in her hands and feet, Roesler said. This is a common pattern and part of the unpredictable nature of MS.

After her first year at Bike MS, Roesler returned to the Green Mountain Getaway with a team of six called “Caity’s Team” that included her sister and brother and friends. Roesler jokes that the team’s new name will be “Pass On Your Left” because most cyclists are faster and her team gets passed all the time. But they have fun, enjoy a party after the event, and raise as much money as possible. This year, the team’s fundraising goal is $7,500 and they’ve already raised $5,270 with Roesler alone raising $3,515. She said she loves the start of the event when the team names are announced because she knows everyone is there for the same reason – to raise money for a cure.

There is still time to participate in the event. Visit www.bikeMSgne.org and click on Green Mountain Getaway to register online or volunteer.