"This is your fifth year, Mom." Scott VanArsdale, 14, and his mother Pauline Armijo, from Brazil, are discussing how long they've attended and what they liked best at the Deidra's Biker Bash in Mansfield. This will be Scott's 4th year to attend. He likes the swimming. Armijo, preparing for her 5th year, thinks "the most important aspect is getting people to come out and raise money for MS."
Deidra's Biker Bash will take place 8 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at Mansfield, Ind. and all profits from the 6th annual fundraiser will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.
Live music by the band, Chaos, from Terre Haute, can be heard both nights beginning at 8 p.m. The Poker Run starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. There will be motorcycle games and a 50/50 drawing. Food can be purchased which is provided by S&R Catering. T-shirts are available for $12 each. Everyone's welcomed to attend. There will be lots of good family entertainment.
The event was first started for Deidra Nash by her parents, Maggie and Mickey Hargis. The 29-year-old mother of a five-year-old now lives in Lewisburg, Pa. with her husband, Jeremy. She was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 21.
Her initial onset presented stroke-like symptoms when she experienced paralysis on the left side. Deidra recovered from that episode but has exacerbations periodically which usually involve her sight.
The cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown. Deidra's doctor thinks hers may have been caused from getting burnt in a tanning bed. Her treatment includes avoiding stress, sunlight and humidity. She takes a monthly injection to control symptoms which cost about $1,000 a dose.
Deidra had no medical problems during her pregnancy. Her doctor told her that women usually go into remission while pregnant. But there is a tendency for women's' bodies to deteriorate more quickly after a pregnancy. So Deidra and her husband may limit their family to their son, Koty.
Multiple sclerosis is a major cause of neurologic disability among young and middle-aged adults. It shows no bias and strike indiscriminately. Some celebrities with the disease are Annette Funicello, Richard Pryor and Montel Williams. The effects of the disease are very unpredictable.
Mickey and Maggie Hargis loved motorcycles. They combined their love of big bikes with the tremendous love for their daughter to organize the Deidra's Biker Bash. They wanted to help others who developed the disease.
In August of 2000, Mickey was killed in a motorcycle accident. Maggie has not been on one since. But she wants to continue with the Biker Bash because it was so important to Mickey. She knows he would want it to continue.
The profits will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America located in New Jersey. "They're the ones who supply wheel chairs and hospital beds to those who can't afford it," Maggie said. "They'll give any kind of assistance needed to maintain activities of daily living for a multiple sclerosis patient. And they'll assist in paying for the MS shots if a patient can't afford it. It's a great organization. We hope everyone will come out this weekend and support the event. A family can enjoy this time together and help provide some needed care for others at the same time."