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'Amazing Race' Host Phil Keoghan Joins Fight Against MS

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 11:13 AM

Phil Keoghan, host of "The Amazing Race," is teaming up with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) through a unique bike-themed campaign: Together in MS.
In an interview with Newsmax Health, Keoghan — founder of the No Opportunity Wasted (NOW) organization — says the campaign aims to show that MS does not have to limit the lives and aspirations of the more than 400,000 Americans living with the disease.
"I really got caught up in the spirit of what it was they were doing," he says. "And I thought, you know I get a lot of requests to work [to] create awareness or contribute to a lot of different charities and this charity seemed to have something, it spoke to me in a way."
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Since 2011, Together in MS cycling teams — including many people living with MS — have ridden hundreds of miles on tandem bicycles at National MS Society Bike MS events. This year’s tour begins June 8 in Duluth, Minn., and includes stops in Denver, Colo. (June 29), Seattle, Wash. (Sept. 7), Morristown, N.J. (Sept. 21) and Ventura, Calif. (Oct. 12). 

Koeghan tells Newsmax Health he first connected with the MS Society at a fundraising event seven years ago in Ventura, Calif., and was inspired by the participants to stay with the intitiative.
"The passion, the resolve for people who want to do something for this dreaded disease inspired me to want to be more involved and so over the years I’ve become more and more involved,” he explains. "And it’s culminated now with this latest campaign, which is called Together in MS. And it dovetails perfectly [with] my personal philosophy: No opportunity wasted."
Keoghan’s cycling partner Regina Lyalis — a mother and professional woman living with MS — says the Together in MS campaign aims to demonstrate that the disease does define those who have it.
"It gives us a sense of inspiration and encouragement," she says. "Being a part of the Together in MS campaign gives me the opportunity to not only share my story about living with MS, but to also hopefully inspire other people that because you have MS doesn’t mean it’s who you are, it’s just what you have.
"And you may have to change the way you do some things, but you don’t’ have to give up what you love to do, and you can continue to live and aspire to do great things."
Koeghan, who has a cousin with MS, traces the inspiration for his involvement with the MS Society to a near-tragic undersea diving event he experienced during filming on one of the first shows he hosted.
"I got stuck inside a shipwreck, about 120 feet down underwater, and I didn't think I was going to get out of there," he recalls. "Obviously I did and that that really was a pivotal moment for me to assess my life and think: Wow, it could have all just ended and maybe I need to really focus on what I want to do with my life.
"And so from that experience I created this personal philosophy, which I call 'No opportunity wasted' or NOW and part of that philosophy is doing things for other people. And that’s really what's helped me arrive at this great collaboration with Novartis."

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Phil Keoghan, host of 'The Amazing Race,'is teaming up with Novartis to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis through a unique bike-themed campaign: Together in MS.
Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 11:13 AM
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