Amy Dorsett’s career as a journalist was cut short in 2009 when MS and other autoimmune diseases robbed her of the energy and health she needed to remain a working reporter in the Express-News newsroom. For awhile, she turned her attention and talents to her newly launched “MY MS” blog that chronicled the challenges she and others living with MS faced each day of their lives. Amy always found a way to leaven the sobering tidings of relapse, treatment and periodic extended hospital stays with her signature wit and self-deprecating humor.

Amy Dorsett smiled her way through a lot of pain.

The word “journalist” hardly suffices to describe Amy. She was a reporter with a sharp eye and even sharper sense of humor, with a love for a well-turned phrase, a clever pun, and above all, a moving human interest story. She was widely read, curious about everything and everyone, a natural-born social animal. She was an ardent fundraiser for the MS cause and she was a friend to many.

Even if you were not an appreciative reader of Amy’s stories at the newspaper from 1997 to 2009, you might gain an appreciation for her body of work by reading the obituary written by newsroom colleague, Elaine Ayala, and published Saturday, two days after Amy died suddenly  at age 39  on Thanksgiving Day. Actual cause of death is still pending a coroner’s ruling. A Memorial service will be held at the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church this Friday at 10 a.m.

Amy Dorsett
Amy Dorsett

Its’s not my intent to write a second obituary. Instead, I’d like to invite interested Rivard Report readers to join in  a posthumous tribute to Amy, who was a highly competitive fundraiser as a non-riding member of the Third Street Grackles cycling team I captained for seven years and still belong to as a middle of the pack rider.  On several occasions Amy was a Top 100 fundraiser among the thousands involved in the annual Valero MS 150 Ride to the Beach and later the Valero MS Ride to the River when the event changed from a two-day ride to Corpus Christi to a two-day ride to New Braunfels and back.

The Grackles, now co-captained by Lake/Flato architects Rebecca Bruce and Brain Comeaux , have posthumously registered Amy Dorsett so we can raise funds in her name and memory one last time before the Jan. 31 deadline. Our original fundraising goal, when this story was first posted Wednesday late afternoon,  was $2,500, enough to place Amy’s name among the Top 100. By Thursday afternoon, the generosity of Amy’s many friends and supporters had helped us exceed that goal. We set our sights on a new goal: $5,000. We will invite Amy’s loving parents, Hugh and Dianne Dorsett, to join us at the next Grackles gathering, probably in the new year, to commemorate the team’s fundraising effort and to celebrate Amy’s memory and spirit. If you donate to our cause, please consider yourself invited, too.

Donors can click here to donate securely online. Any sum, however modest, will help us toward our goal and be greatly appreciated. In my eight years riding the MS event, I’ve seen donations in the tens of thousands of dollars and I’ve seen donations for $5. Every dollar counts. Donors who wish to send a check by mail may do so to: National MS Society, 8111 North Stadium Drive, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77054. Please mark your check: “In Memoriam: Amy Dorsett.”

Amy took great pride in being on the Top 100 list. We want to elevate her name to that distinguished list one more time. Come next year, the Grackles will ride the Valero MS Ride to the River with Amy’s spirit as our inspiration and our tailwind.

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is editor of the San Antonio Report.