A local doctor uses music to help find a cure for terminal disease

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Thursday, neighbors supported a music event that will benefit multiple system atrophy patients.

Beat MSA was held at Monarch Music Hall on what happened to be World MSA Day.

MSA is also known as “Parkinson’s on steroids.”

It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects both the autonomic nervous system and movement. The disease is rare and terminal, affecting about 25,000 Americans and over 300,000 people worldwide.

Currently, there are no disease-altering or life-saving treatments for patients. The cost to care for a family member with the disorder is on average, $44,475.00 annually.

This is the main reason, a member of the MSA Coalition Board of Directors, Dr. Larry Kellerman organized this event.

Dr. Kellerman’s wife if 17 years, Colleen Kellerman, lost an eight-year battle with MSA. He then realized it was time to find a cure.

You’re watching a person you love go from being an adult to an infant in a short period of time with no way of treating anything other than the symptoms.

Dr. Larry Kellerman, MSA Coalition Board of Directors

Austin Crawford of Milford supported the event. He is an MSA patient.

The disease has cost him a lot in life. He once held six jobs, a few of them being: a volunteer firefighter, volunteer for AMT and an auxiliary police officer.

After being diagnosed with MSA he lost all of those opportunities.

“I’m going from 120 hours a week to zero, definitely takes it out on you and your family,” Crawford said.

He believes if people continue to support research, doctors will someday find a cure, until then he’s going to make the best of his good days.

Just because we have this [it] doesn’t mean that we have to give up, we have lives, we have feelings we may not be able to express them as well, but we are still human.

Austin Crawford, MSA Patient

Dr. Kellerman is thankful for his support and support of others.

“I’m super thankful for every one of those people who decided on their own to come out and support research into this disease,” he said.

Since Crawford was diagnosed he decided to help others who have this illness. He set goals for himself.

Crawford has given out four power-wheelchairs and now hopes to provide for more. He calls this “Wheels for a Cause.”

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