Manor Park teen rides for MS research

By Wes Smiderle

Jon Golemwith his bike
Jon Golem rode his bike 70 km and raised over $2,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Photo: Wes Smiderle

Thirteen-year-old Jon Golem was spending the summer taking leisurely bike rides with his dad down the path along the Airport Parkway, sometimes going as far as Orleans, when he had an idea. “I thought, ‘Hey, what we raise money for a charity doing this? And I’ve always thought about raising money for MS.”

Jon’s mom has been managing with MS his entire life. When he told her about his plan, “she was very excited.”

He made a plan to cover 70 km doing circuits around Manor Park over two days and then opened a fundraising “portfolio” online.

He expected to collect pledges to cover $500, but instead raised over $2,000.

The ride itself was a struggle. “There were tons of difficult moments,” says Jon. “I was tired. My legs were so sore  . . . But I though, ‘How can I give up? People can’t stop living with MS.’”

He hopes the money helps toward an eventual cure, or new treatments to reduce symptoms. “Feeling like I’ve done something to help would be great.”