By Kellie Lail

IdealCharities is an IdealTraits employee-driven charitable fund, used to support charities and organizations important to our employees. Participating employees vote on a charity to support for each quarter of the year. The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition was suggested to the IdealCharities team by Hiring Services Manager, Faith Dawson. Keep reading to learn more about why this charity is so near and dear to her heart.

The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has spent 30 years on its mission to improve the quality of life and provide hope for people living with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). MSA is a rare condition of the nervous system that results in gradual damage to nerve cells located in the brain. This can affect balance, movement, and the autonomic nervous system including breathing, digestion, blood pressure, motor control, and bladder control. The MSA Coalition works to provide education for patients, care partners, and healthcare professionals; and emotional support tools for patients and caretakers. They also work to fund patient-centric research aimed to alleviate symptoms, slow disease progression, and find a cure, all while building a community of support among people who are affected by MSA.

Why did you feel it was important for IdealCharities to support the Multiple System Atrophy Charity?

I had a very dear loved one pass away from this crippling disease and I want to bring as much awareness as I can. Thankfully, IdealTraits allows its employees to vote on charities that mean something to their employees rather than choosing random charities to donate to.

What is your connection to the Multiple System Atrophy Charity?

My grandfather passed away from Multiple System Atrophy in April of 2021. It was extremely grueling to watch one of your favorite people be completely changed by this horrendous disease. I am hopeful for future research to save others’ loved ones.

Do you have any personal anecdotes you’d like to share about the Multiple System Atrophy Charity?

As mentioned above my grandfather passed away from this disease. Your loved one truly does wither away. I don’t write that lightly, knowing what my personal experience was. It’s a slow but fast-moving disease that takes a person’s ability to do ‘normal’ everyday things and makes them extremely difficult to complete on their own. Watching a loved one go through the inability to process simple sentences or know when to stop eating can take a mental toll on the diagnosed family.

Is there any additional information you would like to share about your chosen charity?

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my personal experience with my co-workers and others. My goal is to bring awareness to the disease in order to further research to help others.

If you or someone you know are affected by MSA, call the MSA Coalition Support Hotline at 866-737-5999 to see how they can help

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