Koloa resident biking cross-country for a cause

LIHU‘E — This summer, a Koloa native will ride her trusty old 1994 Trek Pro bicycle across the United States to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis treatment.

Sherry Dire, a mother of three and a recent college graduate, will begin her journey June 1 in Virginia Beach, Va. and reach San Francisco, Calif. on Aug. 1.

“Dreams, we all have them,” Dire said on the Bike the U.S. for MS website. “Some dreams are not realistically obtainable but remain beautiful images in our minds. Some dreams get destroyed by the ugliness of life and are lost. There are other dreams that burst forth in our hearts, inspire hope, and stir our souls. I have such dreams and I intend to chase after them.”

As a single mother, she said she recently overcame adversity “at every corner” to earn her bachelor’s degree. As a celebration of her accomplishment, she said she would be chasing another dream of hers, a cross-country adventure, something she has dreamed of since reading Peter Jenkins’ “Walk Across America.”

Dozens of teams will participate in the fundraising, covering 3,785 miles in 60 days, with an average of 65 daily miles. Dire has a personal goal of raising $1 per mile, totaling $3,785.

According to the website, as of Friday, she had already raised $1,800, fulfilling almost half of her goal.

Dire said that Bike U.S. for MS is a nonprofit with a track record of spending 90 cents of every dollar raised toward MS treatment, research and home improvements for MS patients. Her point, she said, is that most of the funds raised go directly to benefit those living with MS.

“One of my teammates on the ride, Marlene Callahan, is herself living with MS,” Dire said in the website. “Another rider, Jennifer Cherry, is grieving the very recent passing of her mother, who suffered with MS. It will be an honor and an inspiration riding with them.”

The only downside is that Dire will miss the first anniversary of her wedding to Jim Dire, “ the man who is lovingly and unselfishly encouraging” her to attain her dreams.

“You are an amazing husband and I apologize in advance that I will miss our first wedding anniversary on June 25,” Dire said to her husband in the Bike U.S. for MS website.

Bike the U.S. for MS has several routes. This year’s efforts have raised $171,545 as of Friday, according to the website. Dire will bike the TransAm route.

Visit www.biketheusforms.org for more information.

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