Rogier Hintzen, head of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre at Erasmus MC, receives 70,000 euros for research into MS. This sum was raised by over two thousand cyclists who took part in the Tour de Rotterdam on 24 June.
Every year the tour donates the registration money and additional donations to an Erasmus MC project. Customers at Albert Heijn were also able to raise money for MS by buying loaves of bread. This year this resulted in a total of 70,000 euros for ErasMS, one of the two academic MS centres in the Netherlands.
Hintzen is delighted with the cheque. “What an amazing amount and it couldn’t have come at a better moment. Thank you to all the cyclists, sponsors and the organisation for this wonderful donation. The money will go to research into markers that give an early indication for the onset of MS.”
This year’s tour proved to be a challenging one, with cyclists heading into the wind on the Van Brienenoordbrug in heavy rain. Lots of staff of Erasmus MC itself are always among the participants. This year the organisation chose MS because it mainly affects people in their prime, between the ages of 20 and 45. “We want to show that even at that age, good health isn’t something we can take for granted,” explained organiser Wim Waninge.
MS attacks tissues in the brain and spinal cord and is one of the main causes of disability among young adults in the Netherlands. Around 20,000 people in our country have the disease. More than half of the patients gradually experience a decline. The disease proceeds very unpredictably, bringing with it a great deal of uncertainty.
Last year the cheque went to the DiabetesStation headed by Eric Sijbrands. The proceeds were then 56,000 euros.