Endurance Horse Rider with Multiple Sclerosis Set to Compete in Fair Hill 100-Mile Ride

Alexandra North seeks sponsorships to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project

CARMEL, CA (PRWEB) October 6, 2004 -- The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP), a 501 (c) (3) Not-for-Profit Corporation that serves multiple sclerosis patients in California’s Central Coast region, today announced that local endurance horse rider, multiple sclerosis patient and MSQLP spokeswoman, Alexandra North, will compete in the Fair Hill 100-mile ride in Elkton, Maryland on October 16, 2004. Usually, North competes on her own horse, Butter Bea; however, this time she will be riding a borrowed horse named Benediqtine, owned by Lana Wright, of Maryland. The Fair Hill course is the site for the 2005 North American Endurance Championship that North hopes to attend with Butter Bea next year.

By competing in the Fair Hill 100, North seeks to raise money for MSQLP and invites the public to sponsor her. Currently, MSQLP is raising $35,000 in funding from corporate, community and individual philanthropists. The funding will allow MSQLP’s part-time medical social worker, who helps patients cope with day-to-day, energy-draining health and housekeeping problems as well as mediate amongst individual medical and alternative providers, to become a full-time employee and assist more patients in need. To sponsor North in the Fair Hill 100, send a tax-deductible contribution to: MSQLP, P.O. Box 223537, Carmel, CA 93922.

“Riding this years’ Fair Hill 100 gives me the opportunity to get an advance look for next years’ North American Championship course, while also raising much-needed funding for MSQLP,” says North.

“Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties are home to 800-1,200 people suffering from multiple sclerosis,” says Dr. Lotte Marcus, Carmel psychologist and President and Chairman of MSQLP. “When we polled a representative sampling of this community two years ago - 80 multiple sclerosis patients and 25 fulltime caregivers – we tapped into a despairing level of resignation. Nine out of ten patients questioned put the amount of derangement the illness was causing in their everyday lives at 90 percent. Amidst privatization, wholesale clinic and hospital closings, declining numbers of adequately insured citizens and brutally mushrooming medical costs, MSQLP’s modest efforts seem to be taking on an increasingly urgent survivalist role with each passing day.”

Endurance ride horses receive the very best of care, with regular breaks for food, water, rest and veterinary checks. Rides are governed by the AERC, which has developed rules and strict controls to ensure the health and welfare of the horses competing in endurance rides. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year. For more information about the AERC or to access North’s ride history, visit the AERC at www.aerc.org. For more information about the Fair Hill 100 ride, visit http://www.fairhillinternational.com.

About Alexandra North
An avid horsewoman since the age of eight, North started endurance riding in 1995, a few months before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In spite of unpredictable and sporadic symptoms, North continues to pursue her passion for riding because of the healing effects it provides. She also hopes to one day compete on the U.S. National Endurance Team. After learning about the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project, North chose to help support the organization through donors sponsoring her riding efforts. In 2002, North and her horse, Butter Bea, ranked fourth in the nation for miles raced, won the American Endurance Ride Conference’s (AERC) coveted War Mare award, the Pioneer Award for the middleweight division, took first place in the West region Middleweight Division and the West Region overall. In 2003, North and Butter Bea competed at the Pan American Endurance Championship in Trout Lake, Washington, and qualified for the reserve list for the U.S. National Team. Formerly with Dunlap, Slade, Lubow in Carmel, North launched her own CPA practice in 1999 so she would have more flexibility to participate in endurance rides. Prior to Dunlap, Slade, Lubow, North was with Maryanov Madsen Gordon & Campbell in Palm Springs. North holds a BA in Journalism from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, and received her certificate in Financial Accounting from National University in San Diego.

About Dr. Lotte Marcus
Dr. Lotte Marcus, President and Chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Carmel, California, and was a lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Marcus has treated many clients with multiple sclerosis. She has also worked with multiple sclerosis clients at the rehabilitation facility, Transitions, in Gilroy, California. Dr. Marcus, with her husband Alan, is the author of “Reflections on the Culture, Politics and Psychology of Multiple Sclerosis,” as well as numerous publications on illness counseling. Under the auspices of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Multiple Sclerosis Community Services of Salinas, Dr. Marcus has made many presentations on multiple sclerosis to patients and caregivers. She has also addressed physicians at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, the University of California, San Francisco, and Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa (formerly Santa Rosa Community Hospital). On June 12, 2003, Dr. Marcus received The Spirit Award, presented by the Freedom To Live Foundation in Los Angeles, in recognition of her services.

About the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project
The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP) is a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis and their families in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Based on the results of a Needs Assessment undertaken and released in 2002 in cooperation with the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there appeared to be a need for integrated, client-centered, care management plans to ensure that multiple sclerosis patients aren’t slipping through the cracks of the health care system. In August 2004, MSQLP succeeded in hiring a part-time medical social worker who will serve 24-36 ambulatory and homebound multiple sclerosis patients in the Tri-County area, with the goal of improving the quality of life by integrating medical and psychosocial treatment plans. For more information about MSQLP or to volunteer your time and talent, call: (831) 624-7381 or fax: (831) 624-5932. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to: MSQLP, P.O. Box 223537, Carmel, CA 93922.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/10/prweb164560.htm