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At the MSA Coalition, we are privileged to have a dedicated community of fundraisers and supporters that do whatever they can to help us continue our work and improve the lives of patients diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).

This May, we cheered on Austin Urban’s fourth year of his Miles for MSA fundraiser! The Miles for MSA 100-mile running challenge usually begins in May and ends thirty-one days later, on the first Saturday in June. Donations are typically made “per mile ran” or as a committed lump sum once the challenge is complete. After every run, the total number of miles and donations are compiled, and the month ends with an open invite to the “Final Mile” party held on Copake Lake with food, drinks, music and a 1-mile walk/run to celebrate participant and donor achievements.

Miles for MSA’s Background

Austin’s father, Jon, was diagnosed with MSA in 2019 at the age of fifty-nine; he had been experiencing symptoms for about a year and a half. Due to the rarity of the disease, he was misdiagnosed various times, just as many patients are who have MSA. The Urban family was left wondering what they were dealing with as doctors struggled to pinpoint the cause of Jon’s symptoms.

Austin describes his father as the life of the party, but also the hardest working guy in the room. He loves to host friends and family, always making sure others have an amazing time in his presence. Jon has owned a variety of businesses and has employed over 1,500 people. If you need a favor, Jon is always there to help, letting his friends and family tap into his resources for whatever is needed. If you had a fundraiser, Jon was always donating money or products to help you reach your goals and execute a perfect event.

Inspired by his Jon’s drive and value of community, Austin then added in his passion for staying active to begin his fundraising initiatives for the Coalition on behalf of his father.

Miles for MSA’s Impact in its Fourth Year

In the years since his father’s diagnosis, Austin has organized four Miles for MSA fundraisers. In Austin’s first year of the run, he was the sole runner and raised $15,000. By the second year, he recruited 15 runners who raised $70,000 overall. Austin’s third year of Miles for MSA saw over 25 participants and more than $115,000 raised.

We are excited to announce that in his fourth year of Miles for MSA, Austin rallied a team of over 40 participants to raise over $130,000 for the MSA Coalition. As of 2023, over 50 different people have biked or ran, totaling more than 10,000 miles from residents of NY to CA and even one in Hawaii.

Upon completion of his fourth fundraiser, Austin has raised over $325,000 to date from over 1,000 different donors.

We are so thankful to have the support of Austin, his family, and his community. The impact he has made through Miles for MSA will go a long way in understanding, diagnosing, treating, and, one day, curing this disease.

Thank you, Austin Urban, and all the runners and donors of the Miles for MSA community! One of Austin’s event goals is to achieve national recognition for MSA and the Miles for MSA event and teammates. He hopes to do this to not only raise awareness for the disease, but also to drastically increase the number of teammates and donors in years to come. If you are reading, please share this message or information about the event with as many people as you can, including any type of resource that may achieve this goal.

About Austin

Austin is a real estate professional in New York state and is close with his parents Jon and Kim, who own and operate Copake Country Club and The Greens Restaurant in Craryville, NY. Austin is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys golfing, snowboarding, and other similar activities taking after his father, who was a collegiate athlete back in the ‘80s and an avid runner of half and full marathons for most of his life.

Austin would like to acknowledge some special individuals who are directly involved in the success of Miles for MSA. Dale Mauri, Austin’s long time best friend and co-worker, helps keep things organized behind the scenes with donor/mailing lists, event correspondence and marketing, and setting up the “Final Mile” party. Austin’s girlfriend Alyssa Bisesto, who makes every day a positive one and always keeps a smile on his face no matter what life throws his way. Kim and Tanner Urban, his mother and brother, that he explains are right there with him shoulder-to-shoulder, in the fight against MSA. And finally, John Legere and his family’s foundation for their extremely generous donations over the last three years, amounting to $135,000.

“I could never thank everyone, and never put into words what people’s contributions, and this day, means to me. It’s my proudest achievement and the Final Mile is my happiest day. Thank you.” – Austin Urban