Multiple System Atrophy Coalition selected as ‘spotlight charitable cause’

Special to the Sun
Truckee resident Brooks Bloomfield, who suffers from MSA, with his wife Jennifer shared their story last July in hopes of increasing awareness for this fatal disease.
Sun file photo |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Charitable Alliance of Restaurant and Retail Executives (CARRE) Foundation announced the selection of multiple system atrophy (MSA) as the spotlight charitable cause at CSP Business Media’s 2013 Outlook Leadership conference.

MSA is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder with approximately 13,000 Americans currently diagnosed. To ensure the money raised is targeted to the most promising research, the CARRE Foundation is partnering with The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition, the most influential MSA patient organization in the United States.

The MSA Coalition has an established MSA Research Fund and world-class scientific advisory board tasked with identifying research with the most promise for finding a cure for multiple system atrophy. The partnership also aims to increase awareness for the rare disease.

“We are very pleased the CARRE Foundation has selected multiple system atrophy as the charitable cause for their 2013 fundraising campaign” said Judy Biedenharn, co-president of The MSA Coalition. “CARRE is an outstanding charitable organization. As such, working in partnership with the CARRE Foundation to increase awareness and research funds for this horrible and little-known disorder is an incredible opportunity for The MSA Coalition and the MSA community. CARRE activities and fundraising will add momentum to our new MSA Research Grant Program by quickly increasing the funds available. With the help of the CARRE Foundation fundraising we anticipate having $300,000, and hopefully more in our Multiple System Atrophy Research Fund by the time we decide on this year’s grant awards.”

Earlier this year, The MSA Coalition announced its new MSA research grant program. The primary goal is to encourage and fund meaningful research leading to the discovery of a cure. Average life expectancy after diagnosis is only five to nine years. Due to the rapid progression of MSA, there is a tremendous sense of urgency to raise sufficient money to immediately fund promising research.

The first financial awards will be granted in the fall of 2013 and will include money raised by the CARRE Foundation.

“The CARRE Foundation provides leadership through charitable giving while building stronger relationships and bonds within our conference community. Primary support is to other non-profit organizations, including, but not limited to, those that assist others suffering from disability, disease, illness and other hardships, as well as organizations that promote the development of programs that extol the virtues of leadership,” said Kay Segal, senior vice president, CSP Business Media.

“In conjunction with our Outlook Leadership conference, Nov. 9-12, 2013, we will focus our CARRE efforts on a disease that has affected the lives of two industry members, one just this past year … Rex Griswold, of Nestle Waters North America and Tom Gillard, formerly of Tropicana, QTG and MetRx,” continued Segal.

The CARRE Foundation will also use a portion of the money raised to support a multiple system atrophy genetic project now in progress at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The project is evaluating the genes of several families, each with one MSA patient. The aim is to compare the genes of the MSA family member with the genes of their non-MSA diagnosed family members, including parents, siblings and children.

The hope is to identify a gene that might be the cause of MSA and to identify potential disease-modifying therapies.

There is no remission from the disease. There is currently no cure available.

Truckee resident Dr. Brooks Bloomfield suffers from MSA, as reported in the Sierra Sun’s article, “Living while dying, one day at a time.” Read the story here.


At CSP’s Leadership Conferences & Events, the CARRE Foundation (Charitable Alliance of Restaurant and Retail Executives) plays a critical role in the attendee experience. CARRE Foundation’s purpose is to provide leadership through charitable giving while building stronger relationships and bonds within our conference community. Primary Support will be to other non-profit organizations, including, but not limited to, those that assist others suffering from disability, disease, illness and other hardships, as well as organization s that promote the development of programs that extol the virtues of leadership.


Oak Brook, Ill.-based CSP Business Media, publisher of CSP, Convenience Store Products, FoodService Director and Restaurant Business magazines, is a market-dominant, business-to-business, multi-media communication company specializing in the convenience retailing, restaurant and on-the-go food industries.


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. The Coalition also provides much needed patient and caregiver support, educational resources, and advocacy to create awareness and to fight for issues important to the MSA community. At present, 75 percent of all donations go directly into a dedicated Multiple System Atrophy Research Fund which now supports a research grant program. The MSA Coalition also has a world-class scientific advisory board (SAB) to review and award research grants to the most promising MSA research proposals.



The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused on developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen’s vision is of a world where an understanding of genomic variation can be rapidly translated to the diagnosis and treatment of disease in a manner tailored to individual patients. TGen is dedicated to the next revolution in health care. With the patient at its helm, TGen is guided by three core principles: integrate, translate and accelerate.

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