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The sole mission of the MSA Awareness Shoe is to raise awareness about Multiple System Atrophy by its symbolic world marathon. The journey originally began as a prank among a group of friends who wanted to make people laugh. One of those people was Pearl Turner, who had Multiple System Atrophy.

The MSA Awareness Shoe ™ has “Kicked MSA” around the world, traveling to dozens of countries, rubbing shoulders with some notable people and visiting famous landmarks, far and wide. “Our Shoe” as it is affectionately called,  is a tool for spreading MSA awareness, increasing support for MSA patients and their caregivers and fighting MSA by raising vital research dollars. It’s global journey is undertaken in memory of all those that have died due to MSA and in support of all those presently fighting Multiple System Atrophy!


This journey began as an innocent prank among a group of friends who wanted to make people laugh. One of those people was Pearl Turner, who had Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). How it all started was that a group of friends decided to steal one of the shoes of another friend named Tim, while he was sleeping. A Facebook page of photos was created to show the MSA Shoe as it traveled about the neighborhood, ending up in the strangest of places and in the company of different people. A few days into the prank, Pearl’s daughter Gretchen told her friends that when she showed the Facebook page to her mom, Pearl laughed for the first time in months. See, Gretchen’s mom Pearl was suffering greatly from the effects of Multiple System Atrophy.

In the process, Gretchen’s friends learned more about MSA, that it was a rare, progressive and rapidly degenerating disease, similar to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) but in many ways much worse and more rapid. They learned how little information was available on the disease, little research was being done anywhere in the world and how many people, even neurologists didn’t know much about the disease. After Pearl passed away, the circle of friends, together with Tim, decided that one way to honor Pearl was to use the MSA Shoe to raise more awareness of the condition – as a vehicle to provide information in the hopes that more awareness would help increase support for research into the cause and more treatments, and eventually to help bring about a cure for this terrible disease. Today, there are seven official Defeat MSA Awareness Shoes – representing each of the seven continents, with their own special character and cultural personality.

Multiple System Atrophy is a rare rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disorder. It impairs the systems that regulate blood pressure, heart rate and bladder – many of the basic bodily functions that people take for granted every day. People with MSA suffer from dangerously low blood pressure, speech and swallowing difficulties, sleep disturbances, breathing problems, rigidity and tremors. The life expectancy for those with the disease is typically 5 – 10 years. Patients with advanced MSA often become bedridden, unable to speak and completely immobile. At present, there is no cure, no genetic tests to detect it and very few treatments to manage its debilitating effects. Sadly, Pearl Turner succumbed to this awful affliction. But her spirit lives on through the travels of the 7 official MSA Shoes, representing the 7 continents on their journeys to the far corners of the world – spreading awareness, far and wide, everywhere and with everyone!

For more information about the Defeat MSA Awareness Shoe, and each of the 7 official MSA shoes, visit the official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MSAshoe

If you are interested in hosting the MSA Awareness Shoe or have contact with a notable person or a celeb, please do reach out to us: info@defeatmsa.org

#DefeatMSA #KickMSA #MSAcanada #WeRememberMSA #MSAheroes #MSAwarriors #DeFeetMSA

#KickMSA #MSACanada #MSAshoe #MSA_Shoe #DefeatMSA #DeFeetMSA


– Notable Poseurs (but in a good way, notable individuals that have posed with the MSA Awareness Shoe!)

Adrienne Wiley
Allegra Marketing
Angelo and Anne Fracassa
Arthur Wall
AstraZeneca, PLC
Ataxia (Detroit)
Audrey Gentile
Bridget Jennings                                  Benicio Del Toro (Actor)
Cade Otto & Tobi Couture
Callista Madalene Oster Fortier (RIP)
Candice Rusie, Councilperson
Carol Langer
Carol Ruth Horst
Carole Aitken (UK)                                 Carrot Top (Comedian)
Cass Café
Charlene Soleau
Chauncey Billups, Pistons
Chris Haughey, Mindshare
Cia and Sandy Lakin
Colin Cree & Lynda Plotkin & Family (Scotland)
Connie Hannes
Cynthia Roemer
Dan Brennan
Dan Meder (RIP)
Darlene Serazio
Dave Roberts
Deb Bergeron
Del and Pam Szura
Dorene Oster

Drs. Aaron and Amira Noles
Dr. Aash and Jigna Shah
Dr. Alex Tselis & Carol Tselis
Dr. Charbel Moussa
Dr. Christina Desousa
Dr. Chuck Ide
Dr. David Hong
Dr. David Koukal (University of Detroit Mercy)
Dr. David Robertson
Dr. Don Benson
Dr. Eduardo Benarroch
Dr. Edwin George
Dr. Florian Krismer
Dr. Gail Presbey (University of Detroit Mercy)
Dr. Glenn Cook
Dr. Gregory Norris
Dr. Horatio Kaufmann
Dr. Janice Holton
Dr. Jeremy Schmahmann
Dr. Lalitha Sivaswamy
Dr. Majed Rammouni
Dr. Michael Janitz
Dr. Naill Quinn
Dr. Paola Sandroni
Dr. Patrik Brundin
Dr. Peter LeWitt
Dr. Philip Low
Dr. Pratik Bhattacharya
Dr. Praveen Dayalu
Dr. Pravin Khemani
Dr. Ramesh Madhavan and Sindhu Ramesh
Dr. Ronald Melki
Dr. Roy Freeman
Dr. Ryan Walsh
Dr. Sindhu Ramesh
Dr. Steven Vernino
Dr. Todd Wood
Dr. Vik Khurana
Dr. Wassilios Meissner
Dr. Wolfgang Singer
Drs. Aash & Jigna Shah
Drs. Marie & Ben Atikinson
Drs. Thomas & Gisela Chelimsky
Drs. Wazim Mohamed & Shabana Unnikamu
Donna Sluggert
Dorothy Zehnder, Owner, Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Michigan)
Drew Boylan
Dustin Rios
Ed Mitchell
Elena Fracassa
Elizabeth Blau (Restaurateur, Las Vegas)
Elizabeth Bowering (RIP)
Elizabeth Katz (Publisher, Neurology Reviews)
Emeka Agu
Franca Tranza
Gina Hines, Cleveland Clinic
Giovanna Giovanini & Rodrigo Boecker (Filmmakers, “A Day for Susana”, Clubsoda Films)
Glenn Williams, Neurology Reviews

Georgetown University: Jesuits, Faculty, Staff and Students
H. Lundbeck A/S
Hannah Joe Franklin
Harry F May
Heather Earnley & Guy Samuels
Heather Miller
Hon. Joseph and Valerie Oster
Jacqui Dyach
James and Christine Foster
Janey Godley, Comedienne (Scotland)
Jason Strange
Jean Behar
Jeff Duprey
Jeff Lin
Jeff Niemi
Jennifer and Rocky Erwin
Jimmy Oster, Nolan Oster, Nicole Jakubczyk, Waffle and Sadie
Joe Lebovic, Lebovideo
Joel Dunn (DJ Marshall Applewhite)
John and Mary Jane Scharfenkamp
John Vasseur
Johnny Ill Band
Johnny Rhoades Band
Joy Thompson
Judy Biedenharn
Kaesen Samson
Karen Walker
Karin Holtzhausen
Kathleen Brennan

Kathleen McAvoy
Kevin & Michelle Klaft                   
Kim Canteenwalla (Chef, Las Vegas)
Kym Thompson
Kym Roemer
Larry and Sharon Ranke
Lauren Stiles, Dysautonomia International
Lawrence Kellerman (and Colleen Kellerman-RIP)
Les Allen
Lily Shih
Linda and Don Schwartz
Linda Lemay
Linda Strange
Lisa and Erin Fitzpatrick (Scotland)
Lisa and Mickey Peluso
Lisa Wells (Malta)
Lori Lee Samson
Loyola-Marymount University
Mandi Layne, Country Singer
Marat Essex
Margaret MacLachlan
Marge’s Donut Den
Marianne Oster
Mark Wood
Martha Reeves (Motown Superstar)
Mary O’Connor
Marygrove University
Michael and Mary A Prost
Mike Boylan, Jr.
Mike and Cindy Cataldo

Mike, Cathy and Jeremy Otto
Mitch Erwin
Monica Wakefield
Nicole Volpi
Neil Versel
Oakland Community College (Michigan)
Pam Bower
Pam Costa Getz
Patricia Boylan
Petula Oster
Philip Cooley, Slows BBQ
Philip Kucab
Professor Eliezer Masliah
Professor Gary Zammit
Professor Gregor Wenning
Rachel Leder Couchenour
Reverend David Meconi, S.J. (Saint Louis University)
Reverend Kevin O’Brien, S.J (Georgetown University)
Reverend John Staudenmaier, S.J. (University of Detroit Mercy)
Reverend Justin J. Kelly, S.J. (University of Detroit Mercy)
Rey & Angela Umali
Ritje Schouppe-Moons
Robin Leach
Robert Allen
Roger Soderstrom
Ron Buechele
Ron & Barb Oster

Rosemary Arbuthnot (Ireland)
Ross Noble (Scotland, Comedian)
Ruth Ann Atkinson
Ruth Klein
Saint Louis University: Jesuits, Faculty, Staff and Students
Saint Joseph’s University: Jesuits, Faculty, Staff and Students
Sarah Cook
Sarah Roberts, Michigan State Representative
Sarah-Rae Bugayong and Family
Senator Gary Peters
Sharon Wiley Bacis
Shauna Ruttan
Smug Roberts, Comedian (Scotland)
Steve and Carol Bussa
Stuart Tucker
Susanna Brennan & Rick Knuff
The Blue Goose Inn
The Kilkennys Band (Ireland)
The Steve Foster Family
The MacLachlan Family
Thornetta Davis, Queen of the Blues
Tom Looney
Tyler Green
University of Detroit Mercy
Verde Media
Vince Bowler (RIP)
Vince Neil and Rain Hannah




Tim's MSA Shoe




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