HOUSTON — Rita Jourbran was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 10 years ago and lived with the symptoms for years before ever learning about the disease— making her fight to build awareness and find a cure all the more personal!
For the past eight years, she has participated in the BS MS 150 race benefiting the National MS Society. On Tuesday, Jourbran officially became the second ‘top participant,’ raising approximately $100,820.18 for the cause this year alone.
Joubran’s most noticeable symptoms started with the lost of her vision just weeks after giving birth to her daughter. Next, she lost feeling in her left side.
Before then, Rita had never heard of multiple sclerosis.
“So many things pop into your head. I had never really heard about it before, didn’t know what it was […] so many emotions,” Joubran said.
[UPDATE: Rita Joubran raised $100,820.18 once the fundraiser officially ended, which was hours after the episode aired on NewsFix at 9 p.m. Tuesday.]
However, the diagnosis was only the beginning of her journey.
The BP MS 150 race is the largest even of its kind organized by the National MS Society to help find a multiple sclerosis cure.
In order to enter the race, you must raise a minimum of $400.
Each year, Rita and Nabil Joubran are determined to take that goal a step or two further— even after the race takes place! However, Tuesday night was the most the couple had ever raised.
"No. 1 would be great, but that's not the goal," Rita Joubran said. "The goal is to raise as much money as possible so that we can find that cure. So that nobody ever has to hear the words 'you have MS' ever again, and that is my goal."
Although the Joubrans personal fundraiser for MS research through the BP MS 150 ends Tuesday, it's never too late to donate to the National MS Society!
"Every donation is important. The one dollar donation, the ten thousand dollar donation... one plus one makes two. It's all for the cause."
Click here to see a full list of the fundraiser's highest earning participants.