Two weeks ago marks 21 years since MSA (multiple system atrophy) took my grandmother. But, MSA took so much from her before it finally took her. You see, MSA was not even called this at the time of her diagnosis. It was so rare and unknown about at the time she was wrongly diagnosed with a Parkinson-ism. For those of you who do not know much of what MSA entails, I will explain what MSA takes from you. MSA takes your fine motor skills and then slowly takes your gross motor skills. Think of it like a slower progressing ALS. My grandmother eventually lost her ability to hold her balance, to walk, to hold things and eventually lost her ability to swallow and to speak all while having the mental age of a woman in her mid 50s. MSA took away so much from her and from our family, but what it did not take away was our memory of her, of her fight and of her rare illness. MSA gave me the dream to work in healthcare and it has also given me the beginning of a passion to learn more of this illness and be apart of the fight to show what MSA cannot take away. The goal of research and education is for earlier proper diagnosis, and for further advances in treatment. Even if you cannot spare a dollar or two, please share and get the word out about this disease. Darlene Lato will always be in my memory and close to my heart.