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An Interview with Ride For Warriors’ Eric Moyal

Published on May 22, 2019 under RSDS General Info

Written by Lauren Bentley for the RSDSA blog.

As the editor of the RSDSA Newsletter, there are many aspects of the job that I love such as reading about the latest research studies, promoting community awareness events, learning about alternative methods for coping with pain; but perhaps my favorite part is making connections with other members of the RSDSA community and listening to their stories.

I recently had the privilege to interview Eric Moyal, an energetic, enthusiastic young adult who recently earned his masters’ degree and works in fundraising for Brandeis University. He is also the brother of a CRPS Warrior.

Throughout our conversation, there seemed to be one theme that prevailed above everything else: Eric really loves his sister – so much so that he is biking 1,700 miles to raise awareness and research funding for CRPS. No, 1,700 miles is not a typo. Eric will bike from Medford, Massachusetts, where he currently resides, to his hometown of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. Along the way, he plans to stop in various cities and meet with those who have CRPS, along with their families.  This biking fundraiser is fondly named the “Ride for Warriors.”

Eric first became aware of “the most painful disease known to man” when his younger sister, Anais, was diagnosed with CRPS approximately five years ago. Anais was riding her bike one a November day when she was suddenly hit by a car. She was fifteen years old at the time of her accident. Although the initial trauma of Anais’ accident began to heal, she still felt incredible pain – and that something was still incredibly wrong. It took doctors two years to finally diagnosis Anais with CRPS and, by that time, the disease had already taken a tremendous toll on her body.

Eric Moyal - Ride for Warriors

When asked what inspired him to create the Ride For Warriors, Eric said, “I really love my sister, we’re like best friends. We talked a lot over the past few years about what she is going through and how hard it is. Part of the struggle isn’t just about getting a diagnosis, it’s convincing yourself that your pain is real when everyone else is telling you nothing is wrong.” He added, “it’s crazy to go through something like this and have nobody believe you. I want to make sure people are aware that CRPS exists.”

As someone who has watched her mother battle CRPS for over a decade, I understand feeling pure helplessness and frustration when there is nothing you can do to take away their pain. During our conversation, we bonded over shared stories of misdiagnosis, doctors’ disbelief of our loved ones’ pain, and the protectiveness felt every time we heard somebody say “but you don’t look sick.” It can be hard to figure out how you can help your loved one when the disease is still relatively unknown to the medical community.

Nevertheless, Eric has a simple, yet tremendously impactful way to support our Warriors – be a source of understanding.  We will never be able to comprehend the level of their pain, but we can offer our understanding when they endure frustrating conversations with doctors,  experience the judgment of others, or just need to go to bed. Anais, now 20 years old, is quite busy being a college student. Although she spends a lot of her free time raising awareness and supporting other college-aged students with CRPS through an organization called Ferocious Fighters, Anais still often experiences a lack of understanding from her peers. Understanding, Eric believes, is something every CRPS Warrior deserves.

The Ride for Warriors is set to kick off on Saturday, June 29th and conclude on July 14th and there are several ways to offer support:

  • Follow and share the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and FirstGiving
  • As mentioned, Eric will be stopping in various cities along the way and would love to speak with fellow members of the CRPS community. Reach out and arrange a time to meet Eric along his ride.
  • If you have the means, consider offering your home as a place for him to stay. His bike route is included below, for reference.
  • There are also financial ways to support this cause – all of which go to furthering research. Pledge 10 cents for every mile that is peddled or ask your local spin studio, business or governmental organizations to serve as sponsors. Any donation, no matter the size, can be made by visiting the Ride for Warriors Giving Page, which can be found here.

Aside from supporting this bike ride specifically, Eric also encourages everyone to share the information they have about CRPS with others, whether that is swapping treatment stories with another Warrior or educating a family member about the disease.

RSDSA is excited to wish Eric, and everyone else working with the Ride for Warriors, the best of luck. But, before Eric hits the road, he has one message for each and every CRPS Warrior: “There IS support and there ARE people out there fighting for you. Keep on being Warriors!”

 

Ride for Warriors Bike Route

Medford, MA to Hartford, CT…………………….………………………………….. 126 Miles

Hartford, CT to New York, NY …………….…………………………………………127 Miles

New York, NY to Wilmington, MD…. ………………………………………………129 Miles

Wilmington, MD to Washington,DC …….………………………………………….. 118 Miles

Washington, DC to Goochland, VA………………………………………………….. 131 Miles

Goochland, VA to Oxford, NC ………………………………………………………. 120 Miles

Oxford, NC to Carthage NC ………………………………………………………….. 99 Miles

Carthage, NC to Turbeville SC……………………………………………………….. 135 Miles

Turbeville, SC to Ridgeville, SC……………………………………………………… 68 Miles

Ridgeville, SC to Garden City, GA ………………………………………………….. 102 Miles

Garden City, GA to Kingsland, GA …………………………………………………. 122 Miles

Kingsland, GA to Jacksonville Beach, FL ………..…………………………………. 53 Miles

Jacksonville Beach, FL to Daytona Beach, FL………………………………………. 83 Miles

Daytona Beach, FL to Vero Beach, FL……………………………………………… 128 Miles

Vero Beach, FL to West Palm Beach, FL…………………………………………… 71 Miles

West Palm Beach, FL to Bay Harbor Islands, FL…………………………………….. 65 Miles

Please consider making a donation to RSDSA today!