Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Charlotte, NC - Jun 20, 2017 - The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition, the leading nonprofit funder of global MSA research and the nation’s foremost charity totally dedicated to serving patients, caregivers and families affected by Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), announces the election of Steve Klisares, an experienced MSA caregiver and business professional, to its Board of Directors. MSA is a rare degenerative neurological disease of the brain and spinal cord, and is often classified as one of the “Parkinson’s-Plus” conditions. In addition to resembling Parkinson’s disease (MSA Type P), MSA has additional symptoms involving impairment of the cerebellum (MSA Type C) and/or the autonomic nervous system.
Steve’s wife, Paula Klisares began her MSA journey in 2002 with minor motor skills impairment and balance difficulties. In 2005 Mayo Clinic diagnosed Paula with MSA-C. Paula and Steve were an inspiration to many as they partnered together and graciously endured the ravishing effects of MSA. Steve retired early from Caterpillar Inc. to care for Paula full-time until Paula’s death in June 2012. They were married 32 years. Their entire family of three married children and six grandchildren all experienced the emotional trauma of living through the years of suffering from MSA. In addition to Steve’s personal depth of knowledge with MSA, he is also personally experienced with other neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson’s took Steve’s father in 2016, and Paula’s mother died from Alzheimer’s in 2001.
“Steve brings his extensive business experience to the Coalition and is already working with another caregiver and Board member to initiate an atypical parkinsonism support group in central Illinois.”
In 2016 Steve became involved with the MSA Coalition supporting local efforts in Peoria, Illinois and attending the MSA National Patient and Caregiver Annual Conference in New Orleans. Steve commented, “I deeply empathize with MSA patients, caregivers, families and the medical communities that serve them as they all suffer through the life-changing impact of “living” with a terminal disease. This MSA community needs our help. In the last few years the MSA Coalition has advanced rapidly in their professional and caring support for MSA patients’ education, support and advocacy, as well as raising significant funds for MSA research. I look forward to working with the MSA Coalition Board to continue to advance these causes supporting the MSA community.”
Steve brings an extensive business background to the board with his 32 years of management experience in accounting, strategic planning, marketing and 6 Sigma at Caterpillar Inc. He holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Business Administration and an MBA from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in Biblical Studies from Moody Theological Seminary. Steve also serves as a director and corporate treasurer for Unlimited Grace Media, and as an Elder of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.
“Steve first came on the MSA Coalition’s radar when he shared his personal experience with a small group of MSA patients and caregivers at a local event,” recalls Larry Kellerman, MSA Coalition board member. “Steve’s wife Paula had passed away because of MSA 18 months earlier and his sharing was so meaningful to one of the patients that she quoted Steve periodically until she passed. He renewed his acquaintance with that patient’s caregiver following her passing and in the intervening year has shown his willingness to serve the MSA community. In October 2016, he volunteered his time to help with the MSA Coalition National Patient and Family Conference and then made the decision to serve on the MSA Coalition Board right after that event. He brings his extensive business experience to the Coalition and is already working with another caregiver and Board member to initiate an atypical parkinsonism support group in central Illinois beginning in April. We are delighted to welcome Steve to the Board of Directors.”
About Multiple System Atrophy
Multiple System Atrophy (previously known as Shy-Drager Syndrome) is a rare and fatal disorder with less than 15,000 Americans diagnosed and 35,000 undiagnosed at any given time. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Multiple System Atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by symptoms of autonomic nervous system failure such as fainting spells (neurogenic orthostatic hypotension) and bladder control problems, combined with motor control symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and loss of balance and muscle coordination.” MSA affects both men and women primarily in their 50s. MSA tends to advance rapidly over the course of 6 to 10 years, with progressive loss of motor skills, eventual confinement to bed, and death. There is no remission from the disease. There is currently no cure available.
About The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition®
The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition is a positive beacon of hope standing up to a little known, rare, insidious disorder. Made up of dedicated volunteers, The MSA Coalition has a primary purpose of encouraging and funding research to find a cure. At present, approximately 75 percent of all donations go directly into a dedicated Multiple System Atrophy Research Fund to support research projects relevant to the cure, cause, prevention, improved treatment, diagnosis and/or understanding of Multiple System Atrophy. Oversight of the research grant review process takes the form of a world-class scientific advisory board (SAB) of MSA expert scientists and clinicians who are dedicated to ensuring the most promising MSA research proposals are evaluated, highlighted and recommended for funding. Through their website, social media discussion forums and a dedicated toll-free support line (1-866-737-5999). The MSA Coalition provides much-needed emotional support to patients and their families. The MSA Coalition sponsors and organizes an annual patient and family conference providing people with the opportunity to learn more about MSA and to develop a sense of community. The MSA Coalition also produces and distributes educational materials to the MSA community and healthcare practitioners.
For more information or to donate to The MSA Coalition, please visit: www.MultipleSystemAtrophy.org.
Multiple System Atrophy Coalition