Carlene Sawyer has been living with multiple sclerosis for 17 years and is grateful she can still move and ride a bike and she wants to help those who cannot.

“It’s very unpredictable, you never know how it’s going to hit you personally. You never know how it’s going to affect you someday,” Sawyer said about living with the disease. “I take every day as it comes because I know I can wake up tomorrow in a wheelchair.”

Back in 2005, she first learned something was wrong, and it was scary.

“I woke up one morning and I thought I had a stroke. I was slurring my speech and my right side was weak,” she revealed.

It took a spinal tap and lots of doctor visits to confirm that she had MS.

It’s a disease of the central nervous system that can lead to numbness, memory problems, blindness and even paralysis.

Carlene suffers from what are called relapses, which can cause terrible bouts of fatigue. Hot weather can make her symptoms worse, which can make it hard to train for this weekend’s 150-mile-long Bike MS Bay to Bay ride.

She’s been taking part in the ride ever since friends got her to join their team a few years ago. Her team is called Good Carma and it’s one of dozens that will take part in the Bay to Bay ride from Orange County to San Diego.

KTLA has a team, too.

Both Sam Rubin and Eric Spillman have taken part in the annual ride for about 25 years. If you want to learn more or support the cause and your KTLA team, head here.

The goal is to raise money, not only for a cure but also people living with MS.

When Carlene was first diagnosed with MS, there were only two medications to treat the disease. Now, there are 25.

The toughest part of the ride is Day 2, a section near Torrey Pines. You grind your gears up a steep hill for two very long miles.

Carlene wears a jersey that says “I ride with MS,” and she says she conquers the hill climbing three feet at a time.

“I get to the top of Torrey Pines and this guy comes up to me and he’s like ‘Thank you so much for bringing my wife up the hill. She’s not a very strong rider and she wasn’t sure she could make it,'” she explained. “Then she comes up behind me and goes ‘I just looked at your jersey and I thought ‘If you can make it, I can make it.'”

Carlene was brought to tears with that interaction and it taught her a valuable life lesson: focus on the three feet in front of you and do what you can right now.

Bike MS is the largest fundraising cycling series in the world with nearly 75,000 cyclists participating each year, including this weekend’s ride.

This year’s ride begins on Oct. 15 in Irvine and ends in Carlsbad.

The second day is on Oct. 16 and takes riders uphill through Torrey Pines and ends in San Diego.