BENEFITING: The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a rare degenerative neurological disorder that affects main areas of the nervous system, which regulates automatic activities such as blood pressure, heart rate, sweating and digestion. Right now approximately 13,000 Americans (that’s 4 in 100,000 thousand people) and countless more people around the world are fighting this rare and terminal disease. The disease strikes people in the middle ages of life and is frequently diagnosed initially as Parkinson’s disease, but is much more aggressive and debilitating. There is no cure, and no effective treatments to help slow its progression. It is a horrible disease and it cannot be defeated alone.
Rudy was diagnosed with MSA a few years ago, and has spent much of his time (never without Ginny, who never gives up) going to doctor appointments between New York City, Albany and beyond, waiting for test results, working with physical therapists and following instructions that his doctor’s give, trying so many combinations of medication that never seem to balance out with the hope that one of them will be “the one.” His speech has been impacted, as has his ability to simply get around. From initially walking at a slower pace due to a loss of balance, to then using a cane, and then a walker, and now often a wheelchair…this disease takes so much away. What it cannot take is Rudy’s intelligence, bright eyes, sense of humor, passion for Cedar Hill Farm, caring for his community and friends, strong will and determination, and love for his family. This we know for sure.
As a very close and strong family, it has not been easy to share our story. Our hope is that by doing so, we are raising awareness of Multiple System Atrophy, and can generate donations that will help provide researchers with the means to develop a cure. Raising awareness is a meaningful way for us to honor a man whose positive and loving influence in our life is truly immeasurable.
Now… Ellen, the “not quite a natural-born runner” and Maggie, who gave birth to Henry Rudolph Eschbach at the end of May (!) have been working hard training to run the Dutchess County Classic 5K on September 18. This is our awareness campaign, and any time tiredness, laziness or a muscle ache becomes a “reason” not hit the road, Rudy is always the inspiration to just do it. Rudy is inspiration.