Young rider is top MS fundraiser

TMI seventh-grader Jacob Carter enjoys a rest stop midway through the second day of the Valero 2012 Alamo Ride to the River, which benefits the National MS Society.

Jacob Carter, a seventh-grader at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, has raised $2.150 so far in conjunction with his participation in last month’s Valero 2012 Alamo Ride to the River, a charity cycling event organized by the local Lone Star chapter of the National MS Society.

That puts Carter – at age 12, one of the youngest riders in the field — among the Top 100 fundraisers for the annual benefit, and he’s still gaining on his elders. Last year, he raised enough to qualify at No. 88 for the event’s prestigious Club 100, the elite group for those who have brought in the most donations, usually more than $1,000. This time, Carter has risen to No. 73 from funds raised through his page on the event’s website, thanks to contributions from family and friends he has contacted.

Although there is a one-day option, Carter, a junior triathlete, made the entire two-day, 155-mile journey from San Antonio to New Braunfels and back both years. Motivated by his parents’ involvement in the cause – the family has close friends with multiple sclerosis (MS) – Carter decided he wanted to help.

“For yourself, it’s a great accomplishment to be able to ride that far,” he said. “Then to raise a lot of money is something else. The first day of the ride, when you’re at the starting line, there are people who have MS walking through, thanking you for riding. Having seen what this disease does, it makes me happy to be able to ride a bike for those who can’t.”

The San Antonio ride, which has raised more than $1 million, is one of 100 nationwide to fund MS research and to provide services for people with MS, a progressive neurological disease that can cause paralysis. Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. Worldwide, MS affects about 2.5 million people.