(WINDSOR, ON) – When it comes to making a difference at the annual PwC MS Bike, Grand Bend to London, Anne Thibert, the captain of Windsor-based CT Soil’s Mighty Celtic Warriors, knows one thing is certain: teamwork really makes the dream work. Having been a part of PwC MS Bike for over 15 years, Thibert has personally seen the good that a hardworking and cohesive team can do for a charity.
While her enduring dedication to the cause is proven, Thibert’s participation in the PwC MS Bike did not come from a place of experience or knowledge about the disease. Her introduction to the ride was a simple invitation to join a bike ride and raise some money for charity. Upon learning about the impact of MS it became so much more to her.
“When we first started off I hadn’t realized it was such a Canadian disease, and I didn’t know how impactful it was,” says Thibert. “I now know a lot of people who have it and I’ve also seen the positivity that the ride has given to a lot of people in various different ways. They feel like they have a lot of support and they feel like there’s a lot of people fighting for them, they feel like there’s a lot of people that are on board and helping them and they’re not alone.”
Thibert and her team have come from raising the $300 minimum donation to be a part of the ride, to pushing the limits of their fundraising to see the money make a visible difference for people with MS.
Over the course of her time participating in the PwC MS Bike, Thibert has seen people benefit from treatments that the ride has helped fund and make a reality, like the newly Food and Drug Administration approved drug, Ocrevus, which treats primary progressive and relapsing forms of MS. Ocrevus is currently under review by Health Canada.
“It’s a charity and we’re actually seeing something good come out of it over years and years,” she said.
With around 30 members of The Celtic Warriors this year, Thibert says the team has made a commitment for each person to raise $1000 or more, with the next fundraiser being a yard sale at the beginning of May.
Thibert’s years of experience with the PwC MS Bike has allowed her to develop The Celtic Warriors into a cohesive unit dedicated both to the fundraising, but also enjoying the experience of the ride.
“When we hear the word team we think ‘let’s do things together or not at all,’” Thibert said. “I don’t care how big we get, we are all going to know each other.”
The bond between the members of the Warriors is what makes them such a motivational force at the PwC MS Bike. Thibert emphasizes the importance of making every step along the way together.
“On the Friday night we get together at a cottage and we have a big barbeque and we basically sleep on the floors and then we all go together to the Motorplex,” she said.
The team also uses GPS trackers on their phones as a way of keeping track of the members to ensure that everyone crosses the finish line together, capes and all.
The Warriors’ team spirit is a testament to the nature of the ride itself as every rider is a member of one big team fighting to cure MS.
“I would love to be able to just write this someday as a victory to a job well done by everybody,” said Thibert. “ It’s just so inspiring to see the goodness of what a ride like this can do.”
This year’s PwC MS Bike, Grand Bend to London kicks off on July 29 at 7:30am at the Grand Bend Motorplex.