World cycling tour against MS rolls through Cornwall

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – Multiple Sclerosis may have confined Gérard Guillouzic to a wheelchair, but the 54-year-old France resident is too busy travelling the world to let the disease slow him down.

Guillouzic is part of a six man team participating in the World Cycling Tour Against Multiple Sclerosis that left from their hometown in Lille, France on July 12, to trek across Canada, Bolivia, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and Turkey, before ending in Paris exactly one year later.

The goal is to meet people affected by the disease and organizations that help combat MS and its effects, like the MS Society in Cornwall where they stopped for lunch on Thursday, October 2.

“At my age, I didn’t think this was possible,” said Guillouzic who was diagnosed 25 years ago. “It’s a dream to travel the world and speak about MS. And if I didn’t have the disease I wouldn’t have been able to.”

They are all members of L’odyssée de l’Espoir, a non-profit French organization created for a world tour project of the organizations fighting against MS.

“We’re very excited to welcome these cyclists,” said Karen Torrie-Racine, office manager of the MS Society of Canada – Cornwall & District branch.

The Seaway City marked 4,000 kilometres.

To help keep their bikes in check before the team heads to their next stop in Toronto, Cornwall’s Kalrim Cycles dropped by the local branch to provide a free tune-up.

“It’s a really common disease, but people dont’ know about it,” said team member Benoit Le quentrec. “We wanted to show that even if you have MS, you can still live to the fullest – just like Gérard is.”

According to the MS Society’s national office, Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, with 100,000 individuals living with MS, and every day three more people are diagnosed.

Marc Villeneuve, a local resident with MS, was at the special lunch to lend his support.

“They’re a great group of guys and what they’re doing for people with MS is fantastic,” said Villeneuve.

Guillouzic said the best part of the journey is that he doesn’t feel isolated anymore. The boundaries his wheelchair has created all disappear as his trike bike is pulled by his fellow teammates (including his son Yvan).

For more information about the World Cycling Tour Against Multiple Sclerosis, visit

To learn more about MS, visit

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