More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Man takes restored truck on tour to fight MS

Sunday, August 5, 2001
Pantagraph project coordinator

BLOOMINGTON -- Classic cars took to a classic highway Saturday to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis.

Scott Sensing and his restored 1952 Chevrolet pickup truck, affectionately named Shelley, made several stops in Central Illinois as part of his "Route 66 Drive for Multiple Sclerosis," a six-week journey on the Mother Road from Chicago to San Bernardino, Calif.

"The best thing about doing this is you go to a place you've never been and meet hundreds of nice people who roll out the red carpet for you," said the 37-year-old Sensing, who lives in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Saturday's event kicked off at Bloomington's Miller Park, where about 30 classic cars and their owners helped Sensing begin the Central Illinois leg of his journey. Leaving the park in midafternoon, the caravan cruised to the Dixie Truckers Home in McLean, then on to Lincoln and Hopedale, picking up other classic cars along the way. The day's events concluded at Minier's townwide block party Saturday evening.

Sensing also will be at the Minier Corn Daze Car Show today from noon to 4 p.m.

On a leave of absence from his job as a student services coordinator for a technical school, Sensing has hopes to raise money for multiple sclerosis -- a lofty $250,000 -- as well as awareness about the disease.

To date, he's raised about $10,000.

The drive is being done in memory of a sponsor's brother who was diagnosed with the disease in 1992 and died earlier this year. Multiple sclerosis, which attacks the central nervous system, can have effects that vary from numbness in the limbs to paralysis and loss of vision.

But the miles logged for a cause will be familiar to both Sensing and Shelley. Last year, the pair traveled more than 11,800 miles from Sensing's home in Murfreesboro to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to raise money to fight cancer.

That trip was done in memory of his father, who died of cancer in 1998 without having fulfilled his dream of going to Alaska.

The journeys take a slow pace, and Sensing prefers the back roads to the interstates and big cities. Shelley has no air conditioning, no radio, no compact disc player and reaches a top speed of about 50 mph.

"She really doesn't have anything except dependability," Sensing said.

But the bond between traveling man and forester-green truck seems to have grown with time. Shelley, named in part to rhyme with Chevy, was Sensing's inaugural vehicle after graduation from high school in 1982. While not the only vehicle he owns anymore, it's the one that tugs at his heartstrings.

"She has a personality," Sensing said. "She has her own creaks, rattles and groans.

"I've always liked the fact she's quite different than anything out there."

On the Net

Route 66 Drive for Multiple Sclerosis Web site:

"Reports from the Route" live Internet broadcast at 8:05 a.m. Monday through Friday through Sept. 17:

Copyright © 2001, Pantagraph Publishing Co