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The Ride of a Lifetime

The Ride of a LifetimeDustin Bond, member of the School of Dental Medicine's class of 2013, will spend his summer biking the country to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.

Boston [06.11.09] Dustin Bond has a personal understanding of the effects of multiple sclerosis, having watched his friend Donald Fraser rally support for his mother, who suffered from the disease.

So when Bond thought about how he wanted to spend his last few months before starting at Tufts School of Dental Medicine in the fall, joining Fraser's efforts to fight MS seemed like the perfect option.

Started by Fraser in 2007, "Bike the U.S. for MS" is a cross-country bike tour that raises both awareness about the disease and contributions, 100 percent of which will go to the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, a leader in clinical MS research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"I think, more than anything, Donald wanted to honor his mother's struggle by raising awareness across the country," Bond says. "The first trip in 2007 had only four riders, but myself and a bunch of mutual friends who didn't go were following them every step of the way through their blogs and video updates, and through that my interest was really sparked to participate."

Follow the team on Twitter, @biketheusforms or @dustinabond, or read Bond's personal blog.

Over the years Bond has been involved in many philanthropic efforts, including a half marathon with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a Marine Corps marathon for the development of a scholarship fund in honor of the victims of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, Bond's alma mater.

Since the first trip in 2007, the participant pool has tripled in size to 13 cyclists and the route has been altered: the original tour started in Seattle and ended in Bar Harbor, Maine, while this tour will start Yorktown, Va., and end in Florence, Ore.

The tour, which began on June 1, is expected to take two months, with a projected end date of Aug. 5. Currently, the team has raised just over $10,000 for this year's ride.

In addition to approximately 60 miles of biking per day, the cyclists also have several stops scheduled along the route to meet people affected by MS, offering both assistance and company.

Virginia-based Grayson Place Building has offered the team $2,000 for each service project they undertake along the way. Earlier this year the company worked with Fraser on a project to build a ramp for a person afflicted by MS.

"I am really looking forward to participating in the second trip," Bond says. "While it is great that we will be raising money for research, I think the most important part will be the projects we do and the people we connect with along the way."

Story by Kaitlin Provencher, Web Communications.

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