Video Report By Dominic Garcia, Reporter - bio | email
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It was a beautiful day across the county for cyclists to gather for a great cause.
More than 2,000 cyclists took part in a bike ride from Carlsbad to Mission Bay, to raise money for multiple sclerosis. Those riders finished their trek to hundreds of screaming supporters.
Whether they biked 15 or a 150 miles, every rider pedaled for the same reason. Crossing the finish line was especially sweet for Ruth Degruyter.
"Feels good, good accomplishment. Living with MS I didn't think I'd be able to do it...accomplished my goal," she said.
She and her husband Scott had a number of reasons to ride, and finishing Sunday's event was just another reminder that they can get through this.
"It's been tough, but she's sticking through it...getting tougher and we've learned to live with it. We had our first kid with it and now we're doing stuff like this together," he said.
About 2,000 people joined them Sunday, all riding to raise money and awareness for a disease that affects 400,000 people in the US.
"This ride just has so much heart. We have about 40 people who are participating with MS. But everyone here has a connection," Senior Director of Marketing Jessica Ishikawa said. "And it's really inspiring to see them get out and make a difference and the people they care about."
"You feel like you have thousands of people right behind you supporting you and it's amazing. Absolutely I feel supported," Christie Germans said.
Christie German's mom came all the way from Florida to support her fight against MS. And it was a homemade gift she gave her when she was a girl that helped lighten the mood.
"So, he's just a representative of keeping it light while you live with a disease like MS. And put a little fun into it.
Joann Dufloth came out to support her friend Carmen Cutler.
"I said hey, I have a friend I can ride for, and I need to do this. Carmen's been an inspiration for me personally at work and through my life because of her positive attitude," she said.
"It's very overwhelming, just all the support and love out here...it touches me," Cutler said.
Carmen's friends biked 150 miles for her and while she couldn't do the ride herself, it was clear she was one of the strongest people there.
"My motto is 'I have MS, MS doesn't have me.' You gotta keep a positive attitude, you can't let it get you," Cutler said.