Make Your Mark: MSA Awareness Tour 2014

Cycling to raise awareness of Multiple System Atrophy

the tour

850 miles. 11 days. One cause.

Msa resources

Make Your Mark: MSA Awareness Tour 2014 is dedicated to the memory of Mark Versel, who died in May 2012 due to multiple system atrophy, a disease so rare that some physicians have never even heard of it, and many neurologists go their whole careers without seeing a case of MSA. 

Starting July 4, 2014, Mark's son, Neil, and brother, Malcolm, will bike from Neil's home in Chicago to Washington, D.C., where Mark spent most of his life.

MSA robbed Mark of his mobility, so we are riding our bikes in tribute.

Along the way, Neil and Malcolm will stop in the home towns of other families touched by MSA, which has no known cause, no effective treatments and is always fatal. The Versels will be spreading the message about this terrible disease, as well as raising money for the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition and related MSA organizations.

Other riders are invited to join for the first leg on July 4, from Chicago's Lakefront to an Independence Day celebration in Hobart, Indiana, 46 miles away (or continue another 18 miles and stay overnight in Valparaiso, Indiana.), in exchange for a minimum $25 donation to the MSA Coalition. Those on the East Coast may finish the tour with us July 13, when we ride 58 miles from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Rockville, Maryland, where Mark lived for 35 years (or join in Frederick, Maryland to ride just 30 miles).

A ceremonial final day will take the riders from Rockville to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where Dysautonomia International will be holding its annual Lobby Day on July 14. MSA is the most severe form of dysautonomia, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.