Farmington Hills woman’s fundraiser aims to end multiple sclerosis

A Farmington Hills resident has organized a fundraiser to ensure that no one has to hear the dreaded words, “You have multiple sclerosis (MS).”

An Auction to End Multiple Sclerosis will be held April 29, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., at The Farmington Garage, 33014 Grand River Ave. in downtown Farmington, with all proceeds benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter (NMSS). Organizer Tanya Nordhaus began raising funds to fight MS at age 17, not knowing that the disease would personally touch her life.

After 10 years of fundraising for the NMSS via the Bike MS rides (formerly known as the MS 150 rides), Nordhaus lost her ability to walk or even crawl without falling over. On February 20, 2001, a neurologist walked into her hospital room and delivered the terrible diagnosis: “You have multiple sclerosis.”

Although wheelchair bound at that time, and just learning how to stand on her own, Nordhaus pointed to a picture of her crossing the finish line of one of the Bike MS rides and said, “See that picture of up there? That’s me crossing the finish line of the MS 150. I will do that again!”

While her doctor believed her fierce determination would get her there, he said, “Just not this year.”

In a press release, Nordhaus said that statement “lit a spark in me. In my mind, my hands were on my hips and I was shaking my head saying ‘You don’t know me. I will do that ride again this summer.’.”

After just five months, she did. Nordhaus has participated in the Bike MS fundraisers ever since and is one of the state’s top NMSS fundraisers. Her goal this year is $25,000.

The April 29 event will be catered by The Cheese Lady Farmington, Jim Brady’s Royal Oak, Sunflour Bakehaus, and Ideal Bite Catering of Farmington Hills. Rosie Burns-Pavlik, Megan Cromwell, and students from Axis Music Academy will provide musical entertainment.

Tickets will be at the early bird price of $35 until February 28. In March, tickets will be $45 each, and in April, tickets go to $50 each. To reserve your spot, visit anauctiontoendms.eventbrite.com.

Businesses that have an item or service they would like to donate, can do so until April 21. Ads can also be purchased in the event program, and VIP Host sponsorships are available that include four free tickets to the event, along with other benefits.

To learn more, write to endingmsauction@gmail.com. And follow the auction on Twitter at @EndingMSAuction.

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