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Cyclist won’t let MS slow his roll

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- With military-like discipline, Rick Schoepke prepares.

The Chesterfield man, who takes pride in his fitness, will train for hours, days, and weeks.

It's a routine he has perfected.

"The first thing I do is stretch. I feel a little tight. A little tight," Schoepke said. "I’d rather work a little on the front end than pay a price on the other end."

What awaits? A 200-mile trek.

In the upcoming Bike MS, Rick will crank awareness to another level.

"Our goal is to raise $850,000 for research and programs to help people with MS," he said.

Multiple Sclerosis causes muscle stiffness and numbness. It can lead to paralysis and blindness. It’s a disease Rick is all too familiar with.

"Bottom line was I couldn’t see out of my left eye," Rick said.

While carving up the quiet roads winding through Richmond National Battlefield, the 60-year-old man wages war with an unseen foe.

"There is no cure for MS, the only thing you can do is hope to slow the progression down of MS," Rick said. "When I found out I had the disease [15 years ago], I made up my mind that I was going to fight the disease."

But Rick is taking a stand.

"I have MS but MS doesn’t have me," he said.

Rick's wife Rose Schoepke called her husband’s can-do spirit an inspiration.

"It’s never like we have a problem. We can’t deal with this ‘Oh my. Oh goodness.’ What are we going to do to make it better," Rose said.

From his past accomplishments to his future plans, Rick does not let the disease stand in the way.

"Attitude is everything. You’ve got to be positive. You’ve got to be positive," he said.

When Rick kicks into high gear for the two-day Bike MS from Richmond to Williamsburg and back, he will stay focused on the finish line.

"I don’t take my health for granted," he said. "We only have one crack at this. There are no re-dos."

When he crosses - Rick will be doing so for those who can’t.

“I’m going to keep fighting this. That is my goal. That is my goal."

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.