Determined not to let his incurable neurological condition stop him, a young father is gearing up to ride the 100km course in the Enerflex MS Brissie to the Bay bike ride to fight multiple sclerosis on Sunday June 21.
When father of two Scott Manix felt numbness in his hands and electric shock sensations in his legs in late 2013, he knew something was wrong. A multitude of scans and tests later and it was confirmed: Scott had multiple sclerosis (MS). On receiving the news from his doctor, a rush of emotions flooded his mind. “The day I was diagnosed, I looked over to see my beautiful wife and the tears that started welling in her eyes,” Scott recalls. “It was then and there that I decided I would do anything humanly possible to manage this disease and I was not going down without a massive fight.”
Sadly, MS is the most common chronic neurological condition affecting more than 23,000 young Australian adults, with four more people being diagnosed every working day. It is a disease that attacks a person’s brain and spinal cord, causing irreparable damage and no two cases of MS in the world are the same.
Early in his MS journey, Scott’s thoughts turned to his family and many questions were running through his head. “What about my kids?,” Scott asks. “What will my future look like? Will I be able to have a normal life?” Scott turned to the internet to find out more information and it was while searching ‘MS’ he came across MS Queensland’s MS Brissie To The Bay Bike Ride, feeling this would be a good way to support the MS cause. Though not the strongest of riders, Scott registered for the endurance 100km course and completed it in just over four hours. He found it an extremely challenging ride, but was motivated to see thousands of others cycling by his side. “When I’m riding I don’t have MS, I’m just like everyone else,” Scott claims.
Scott has been amazed by the support of his friends and local community since his diagnosis, especially when he relapsed and lost sensation and movement in his left leg less than six months after his diagnosis. “There have been many low days,” he claims. “But they have been outweighed by the kind words of support and numerous offers of help.” Looking to the future, Scott is now gearing up for this year’s ride and his team ‘Manlec’ are hoping to raise more than the impressive $43,400 they raised for the MS cause last year.
Scott will join over 7,000 riders in their lycra taking part in the special 25th anniversary of the Enerflex MS Brissie To The Bay Bike Ride, one of Brisbane’s biggest charity rides. Starting from Musgrave Park in South Brisbane, riders will bear the winter cold and ride one of four courses: 10km, 25km, 50km or the new challenging 100km course; all to help raise a record $1.6 million for people living with MS. The 25th Enerflex MS Brissie to the Bay bike rideexpects to attract the largest field of participants ever and raise a record amount to help people living with MS in Queensland. “I honestly can’t wait to get behind the bike and start my training for this year’s big ride,” Scott announces. “It’s going to be extra special with my wife and children also jumping on their bikes to show their support.”
Photographer: Jason Henry