Actor Shemar Moore is best known for his role as Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds, but acting isn’t his only passion. Each year, Moore takes part in the Bike MS: Coastal Challenge, cycling 100 miles to raise money to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The actor does this challenging ride in honor of his mother, Marilyn Wilson, who was diagnosed with MS in 1999.

MS is a disease in which the body’s own immune system starts attacking the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The disease can cause many different symptoms, including pain, fatigue, vision loss, and impaired coordination.

When his mom first received her diagnosis, Moore was in denial. “I didn’t want to accept it,” he said, “but then I saw she wasn’t able to do a lot of the things that she normally could do. And so it started to hit home.”

Once he accepted it, he knew he had to do everything he could to help find a cure and help his mom have the best life she could. “She can’t fight this thing by herself and she did everything for me and it’s my turn to give back to her,” he said. “I just want her to have the best life she can have while she’s still here, and hopefully in her lifetime there will be a cure.”

“I always thought of her as my supermom,” he added, “and MS is her kryptonite. You know, she’s cracked a little bit, but I always say that she’ll never break. This woman’s way too hard-headed.”

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