The Carney Men Featured on the Cross Canadian Ragweed Website
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, long-term condition that effects the central nervous system. MS is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body's immune system mistakenly attacks itself, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs.
Imagine being one of the 400,000 people in the United States, and the possibility of suffering from onsets of symptoms of MS including: Blurred vision, Loss of muscle strength in arms and legs, Affecting the sense of touch, Burning pain in the arms and legs, Memory function and speed of thinking, Fatigue, and the list goes on and on. The Cross Canadian Ragweed i-Squad has followed the story of a group of fans called "The Carney Men" who have a sentimental link to the Ragweed family, one who's story can only be shared by one of the fans effected by MS, so everyone can truly understand this connection. As the CCRW i-Squad sat down to write this article, and write down key points we felt our version of the article missed the heart of a story so incredible, we needed simply to let it be told by "The Carney Men" themselves. After all, they tell the story better than we do - because they have dedicated their lives to fight this disease, and anything other than their words only capture a fragment of the inspiration that they truly bring.
So, without any additional commentary - here is the story of "The Carney Men," as told by Griff & Hunter Jaggard, which is truly a ride within itself.
Griff writes: "In December of 2002, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was a junior in College at Texas Tech University. It was one of the toughest times in my life, because I did not know what to think or know very much at that point about the disease itself. I was worried and scared, and my friends & family shared the same emotions. I headed down to Saengerhalle in New Braunfels to see the Red River Waylon Jennings Tribute on September 20, of 2003. During the concert, my Brother, Hunter Jaggard pulled me a side and said "Griff, I can't imagine what you must be going through, but on your behalf, in the last few months, I have formed a team of 14 people to ride in the MS 150 from Houston to Austin this coming April. I was shocked and had a loss for words. I was so proud to have such a caring brother,, and he told me that we were going to take this disease head on and do everything we can to find a cure. Hunter said, "Our goal is to ride the MS 150 every year until they find a cure so that we don't have to ride anymore."
As April came along, I was training up in Lubbock awaiting the MS 150 and my Graduation. I joined up as my brothers Co-Captain because I was, and still am, in good enough health to ride. We began taking requests on a team name, and after a few weeks we came to the decision of naming our team "The Carney Men." We all had watched CCR grow the last 10 years, especially in Lubbock and around Texas and the name fit perfectly. The 2004 MS 150 was such a huge success, and the ride as a whole raised 8.8 million dollars for Multiple Sclerosis and our team "The Carney Men" raised just over $6,500 dollars. After the Carney Men's first MS 150, the team did nothing but grow. We recruited 35 new members from the Houston, Dallas, Lubbock, and Austin areas. We got in touch with CCRW who sponsored us and raised over $26,100 the following year and just over $32,600 in just two years. In total, the 2005 MS 150 raised over 10 million dollars.
Cross Canadian Ragweed had an impact on my life, my older brother Hunter, and many of our very close friends. They sing a song that is our team name, and they were one of our lead sponsors. They have even put us on the front page of their website, which has helped us enormously with outside donations.
On our team of riders, 15 of us have a close friend or are related to someone that has this disease. The MS 150 from Houston to Austin for "The Carney Men" is about working toward a goal that is in our grasp and playing a part in the lives of others. We ride until there is a cure."
This year, over 60 riders on the Carney Men team will be taking the streets with 13,000 other riders to put their bike tire tracks toward a cure for MS. Their goal this year is to raise over $50,000 on this 22nd Anniversary of this bike ride. The MS-150 will take place on April 22nd - 23rd, and their chosen theme is "Attack It." It is with this ambition, training, and personal commitment that both Cross Canadian Ragweed and "The Carney Men" ride together "Fightin' For," a cure - riding strong. For more information about "The Carney Men," please visit their website at: http://ms150carneymen.org. You can even donate from their website, and help them achieve their 2006 goal. Watch the Cross Canadian Ragweed i-Squad website for updates on "The Carney Men."
Equally inspiring, "The Carney Men" rock out to Cross Canadian Ragweed during the ride, and because of their themed nature and overwhelming drive, they were awarded "The Most Spirited Team of 2005." This award was given to "The Carney Men" from a selection of over 100 teams. Griff and Hunter only continue their efforts full speed ahead, and with even more growth for this year in 2006.