Eileen O’Toole Rides to Cure Multiple Sclerosis
On Sunday morning, June 25, orange cones lined the southbound side of the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal. The cones formed a lane, open between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., for over 2,000 riders in the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway 2017, the largest MS ride in New England.
For Eileen O’Toole, Legal and Risk Management Coordinator in the home office, the Bourne Bridge is the highlight of the 150-mile scenic ride that starts in Quincy, follows the Massachusetts coast and ends at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown.
On her 10th consecutive Bike MS ride, Eileen’s love for a cousin and dear friend living with MS motivates her to participate in the ride every year. For Eileen’s loved ones, advances in treatments have stopped MS in its tracks.
Eileen’s team of 13 riders included three of her sisters, her cousin’s daughter and close family friends. The family affair goes beyond the riders. Eileen’s mother and other family members greet the team at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the half-way point, and cheer on the team at other stops along the route.
On the second day of this year’s ride, Eileen’s foot, which had been bothering her for a few weeks, began to protest. After peddling 107 miles, Eileen’s foot demanded that she stop in the town of Dennis.
Although she fell short of her goal, Eileen and her team raised an impressive sum for MS research. With pledges still coming in, Eileen will have raised more than $1,000 and the team more than $13,000.
Eileen notes happily, “In 10 years, it’s the first time I didn’t finish. But I’m heartened that we raised so much to improve the lives of those who live with MS. And, of course, I’ll see everyone at the finish line in Provincetown next year.”
A 9-year Benchmark associate, Eileen is a sports fanatic. She takes an annual baseball road trip with her 81-year-old aunt and her friend who has MS. She also coaches a girls basketball team at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic school in Norwood, Mass.