Eric Moyal is currently training for a bike journey, Ride for Warriors, that will lead him back home to Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.
The goal is to raise money for two rare diseases that have completely changed the life of his younger sister Anais Moyal — Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. What started as a ride for his sister has turned into a platform for those with no voice.
Before 2014, you could find Eric and Anais playing basketball together every weekend, as they both strived to play college basketball. However, one fateful day in November, Anais was hit by a driver, while riding her bike and everything changed.
“She was just lucky there was no oncoming traffic at the time,” said Eric.
Weeks later, when the initial trauma had subsided, Anais realized there was something wrong beyond the bumps and bruises.
“My arm started tingling and I began to lose function slowly,” said Anais.
Four years later, her right hand is completely closed into a fist she cannot open by herself; when she is able to pry it open, she hopelessly watches it close on its own volition moments later.
While they cannot play basketball together anymore, Eric and Anais’s bond could not be stronger.
“We talk all the time, she sends me videos of basketball highlights, I’ll send her cool new products that can improve her quality of life and every once in a while, we’ll send each other a surprise basketball jersey as a present and a memory of the sport that is so special to us,” Eric said.
When thinking about the past, Eric and Anais both agree that if the doctors had identified the TOS and CRPS earlier, Anais would have been able to act sooner and take preventative measures.
The potential value of early recognition for these conditions is what motivated Eric to create a social media campaign.
“There currently is not much information out there about TOS or CRPS,” said Eric. “That is part of the reason why it took a year and a half for my sister to get a diagnosis. She went from doctor to doctor and nobody had any answers. That whole process is demoralizing, it leads you to question whether it is all in your head which only escalates the problem. That is why spreading awareness is so important and part of my motivation for this campaign.”
Eric’s goals are to not only raise awareness for these two conditions but to also raise money towards researching a cure. In Anais’s eyes, Eric has already done more than any sister could ask for.
“When I was first going through the diagnosis process and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong Eric always had my back,” said Anais.
Whether it was working full time or more while in school to pay for medical expenses or always believing in Anais when no one else would, Eric has always been ready to dish out an assist.
The Ride for Warriors Cross Country Trek will begin on June 29 in Medford and end on July 14 in Bay Harbor, Florida.
For information, call 305-904-2334.