Apr 25, 2023 - Things to Do

Austin physician rides across Texas for MS cure

Austin doctor Lisa Doggett is among 700 riders who will start their 150-mile ride from the Texas Capitol to College Station this weekend. Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Doggett

Thousands of cyclists will ride up to 150 miles across the state this weekend to raise money for a multiple sclerosis cure.

Why it matters: MS — a central nervous system disease affecting almost 3 million people globally — has baffled doctors since it was discovered over a century and a half ago.

  • The disease can advance silently for years, but then attack myelin, the protective coating around nerve cells, and produce lesions that can cause vision problems, muscle weakness and more.

State of play: Nearly 700 riders will start in Austin on Saturday for the Texas MS 150 while others start their ride in Houston. The event concludes in College Station.

  • The weekend is part of Bike MS, a fundraising cycling series with 50 rides across the U.S.
  • The series brings nearly 50,000 cyclists and 5,000 teams together to ride for a world free of MS.

Zoom in: Among those riders is Lisa Doggett, an Austin-based family physician who was diagnosed with MS in 2009. She's also the daughter of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.

Lisa Doggett and her mother, Libby Doggett, will cycle 150 miles to raise money for an MS cure. Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Doggett
  • Doggett will make the 150-mile journey with her 76-year-old mother, cycling 75 miles from the Capitol to La Grange the first day and then on to the finish line Sunday.
  • Doggett, who has completed the Texas MS 150 four times, already raised over $21,000 and will ride this year to celebrate her new memoir, "Up the Down Escalator: Medicine, Motherhood, and Multiple Sclerosis."

Flashback: When Doggett was first diagnosed, she dealt with dizziness, double vision and changes in taste. Years of dizziness kept her from initially doing the ride, but in 2018, she decided to go for it.

What they're saying: "Fortunately, my MS is a lot better than it used to be," she tells Axios. "I feel like, at this point, my having MS is, more than anything, a motivator to do the ride, to finish the ride and to get as much support financially."

What to watch: You can cheer on the riders as they start at 6:45am Saturday in front of the Capitol.

  • If you're itching to join the ride, Friday is the last day to register.

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