Father-daughter pair honor late friend, MS sufferers on national bike ride day

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Last weekendÕs National MS Society ÒBike MSÓ ride wasnÕt the first for Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman and his daughter, Taylor, but this yearÕs event had extra weight. Former law enforcement officer and State Center Mayor Jake Osgood, who had multiple sclerosis, died earlier this year. The father-daughter pair rode over 100 miles on June 23 in memory of Osgood and others suffering from MS.

Losing a friend is always tragic, but one family resolved to honor the late Jake Osgood during the June 23 National MS Society ‘Bike MS’ event.

“It’s been a long-standing team for us, this was our 14th year in it,” Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman said of Team Jake, established in 2005.

Osgood, who died earlier this year at 54, suffered from multiple sclerosis and was the team’s namesake. With his passing, Hoffman and his daughter Taylor, 14, decided to take the bike ride a step further this year.

“The team did the 65-mile route, then we had a picnic in Ankeny after that,” Hoffman said. “Then we got back on the bikes and headed out of Ankeny, riding up toward Baxter and eventually we got our 100 miles in.”

Taylor Hoffman said she was happy to put in the extra effort.

“I was determined to do the 100 miles and we got it done,” she said.

Osgood served as a law enforcement prior to his diagnosis in the mid-1990s. He ended up having to retire early from the profession as a result — he was also elected the mayor of State Center in the 2000s.

Taylor Hoffman said she had other people in mind during the 100-mile ride, including the late Bob Polley, who suffered from MS and died in 2013.

Melbourne resident Aaron Polley, Bob Polley’s son, said he’s participated in the Bike MS event since 2010.

“My dad had multiple sclerosis for 22 years, so Steve (Hoffman) had asked me to ride,” Polley said. “The significance of it to me is just being able to raise money in hope that research will provide a cure for those suffering with MS and to bring more awareness.”

He said it was awful to watch his father suffer from the central nervous system disease. Some forms of MS are more noticeable than others and there is currently no known cure for the disease, according to the National MS Society.

“He was a great man and had a great spirit about it … but I would’ve given anything to take it away,” Polley said of his father.

Steve Hoffman and Polley said their children grew up with the Bike MS event every year. Once they get to the age of 12, the kids are able to participate in the ride.

“They all look forward to turning 12 and riding,” Steve Hoffman said. He said he is still accepting donations and checks made out to the National MS Society can be sent to his attention at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, 2369 Jessup Ave.

Polley said the National MS Society is open to online donations at https://www.nationalmssociety.org.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com