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Gnotke family rides for multiple sclerosis

For Deb Gnotke, the MS Snowmobile Tour is a family affair. For more than a decade, Gnotke, husband Dave and their children have gone snowmobiling for a cause: multiple sclerosis.

"My husband of 40 years, Dave, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 1971," she explained. "MS has been part of our married life from the start.

"There were many challenges with the disease over the years, but snowmobiling has been something we have always done as a family. Now we have grandchildren to share the sport of snowmobiling with, too."

The family, including children Heather Tietje and Ross Gnotke, participated in the MS Sno Rally in Minnesota for many years and then joined the MS Snowmobile Tour in Wisconsin in 2012 after the MS Sno Rally ended in 2011.

The year's MS Snowmobile Tour marks the 30th year of the event. Set for Jan. 24-26, the MS Snowmobile Tour will be headquartered at the Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis. Riders travel up to 150 miles each day with guided groups. Proceeds support research, programs and services related to MS - a chronic, life-long disease with no known cure.

Throughout the history of the MS Snowmobile Tour, riders have raised nearly $6.4 million for a world free of MS. Riders are asked to raise a minimum of $650 each in pledges.

"The National MS Society has been the best tool for our family," Gnotke said. "We've learned so much and met the greatest friends. The event funds help so much with research and making programs and services available to people with MS."

Gnotke says her husband is an inspiration to many because of his great attitude about living with MS.

"Dave has the best outlook. He never complains about MS. His legs are tired out, but he keeps going and hopes to find a cure so no one else has to hear, 'You have MS.'"

The MS Snowmobile Tour is an event of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Wisconsin Chapter. To register or donate on behalf of a rider, visit or call 262-369-4400. The registration fee is $45. Participants must be 12 years older, and riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.