Shemar Moore, best known as FBI special agent Derek Morgan on the hit
television drama Criminal Minds and previously as Malcolm Winters on
The Young and the Restless, bikes for fun, for exercise, and most of all to raise funds and awareness for
sclerosis, a disease his mother has. March is MS Awareness Month, and Moore
took a well-timed break to talk about his mom and his commitment to cycling for
a good cause.
Nine years ago, Marilyn Wilson-Moore, who divorced early from Moore's father
and as a single mother raised her son, was diagnosed with MS. She's one of
400,000 Americans -- one diagnosed every hour -- who battle this disease, which
can cause blurred vision, slurred speech, loss of balance, and paralysis.
"There was fear in not knowing or believing it could happen," Moore, who turns
38 in April, says of her condition in its early stages, including the
possibility of increased dependence on a wheelchair. "You think your parents
Although he has long enjoyed biking, it wasn't until Moore joined the cast
of CBS's Criminal Minds in 2005 that crew members introduced him to
competitive cycling. Since then, he and a team of 60 from the show have hit the
road each fall, in the Southern California Start to Finish MS Bike Tour -- one
of 100 rides nationwide that brought in awareness and funds for MS. The 2007
tour raised more than $700,000 for MS research and programs. He plans to bike
again in the 2008 event, Sept. 20â21.
"I can chase my dream of acting but use what I built to get people to take
notice and create an awareness of [it]," says Moore. "I wasn't aware of it
until it hit home. Now, I'm asking people out of the goodness of their hearts
to dig in their pockets to give back to people who can't defend themselves. ...
I'm riding a bicycle on behalf of them."