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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

Dear anyone that has met grief,

On Friday, May 7th, my dad rode to heaven on his Harley. Over 12 years ago my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Systonic Atrophy (MSA). MSA is a rare, debilitating progressive neurological condition. The average lifespan of MSA is 9 years. It is unknown how long my dad was undiagnosed. MSA is a neurological condition that causes the brain to shrink and lose its ability to send messages throughout the body to perform involuntary actions.

In my dad’s early stages of MSA it affected his movement. His gait changed and he became off balance. First it was a cane then a walker. It continued with shaking and loss of strength. My dad’s physical capabilities deteriorated over the years until he was wheelchair bound. Over time his speech became compromised in conjunction with his abilities for digestion and sense of independence. In my dad’s last stages of MSA he lost the ability to communicate and then his ability to swallow which hampered his ingestion of food and water. MSA is cunning, baffling, and awful. It strips people of their dignity and pride. My dad fought hard and he fought long. In my eyes he crushed MSA, until he didn’t.

With a heavy heart I write with the hope of raising donations for MSA in honor of my dad. My family and I do not want any other families to suffer the beast that is MSA. In conjunction with trying to raise money for treatment and a cure, we donated my dad’s brain to the University of Miami for continued research.

Mother's Day was certainly somewhat different this year as my dad, Stuart Bushman was laid to rest. Part of celebrating his life consisted of a beautiful drive-by from the Fort Lauderdale HOG drill team he used to be a part of. So thank you to his Harley family & friends! Anyone that knew my dad knew his passion for the Harley world!

The link for contributions to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition is attached below. Please consider donating any amount to help with research for this awful disease that my dad struggled and suffered with for way too long.

If you're so inclined, please consider making a donation to the MSA coalition by going to:

Warmly, Your no bull-shiFt, advice giving, shame-abolishing, health advocating, Mom, daughter, Psychologist and wife, Dr. Dara

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