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Like most anyone who ever had the pleasure to meet Kerry Simon, I was hit hard by his passing this week due to complications related to MSA. Every MSA patient (and their main caregiver) is very special to me, and I’ve met a few dozen in person, and scores more online. Kerry felt the same way. When I met with Kerry in Las Vegas, or spoke to him with the help of Linda and Jason Strange, it was clear that he would try just about anything to improve his outcome with MSA.

We bonded in our shared commitment to daily exercise, regular therapy, healthy eating and a regiment of meds and supplements.

Given his celebrity stature, successful restaurants, and network of famous friends in the entertainment sector, Kerry didn’t have to go public with his MSA saga. But beyond himself, he realized the breadth and depth of the challenges of all the other patients, carers and families dealing with MSA, and he wanted to put a positive dent in the world by lending his name and image to MSA awareness and fundraising. He most certainly did!

Once when we were talking about living with MSA day-by-day, Kerry talked about the relentless progression he was personally experiencing. He summed it up by saying, “Seems like there is always one less thing that I’m able to do.”

I filed it away: Simon says, “One Less Thing.”

In the past couple of days, I thought about “one less thing” a lot, and sat down today to produce this poem as a tribute to Kerry. It’s called:

“One Less Thing” | A Poem Inspired By Kerry Simon

Chef Kerry Simon and Tom Looney

Chef Kerry Simon & Tom Looney

MSA is a thief,
committing multiple crimes.
And to make matters worse,
the victims serve the time.

Crooks always take,
they never bring;
Seems like every month,
it’s yet one less thing.

Body systems fail…
some slow, some fast.
This one teeters…
how long will it last?

“You can’t do this,
you’ll do that no more.”
Just an endless string
of one less things to endure.

Well at MSA’s Alcatraz,
our warriors get wings.
And when Kerry flew off,
we could hear him sing:

“Finally, one less thing to worry about-
MSA is a jail, but I’ve busted out!”

The End

About the Author:

Tom Looney was diagnosed with probable MSA in 2008 at the age of 48. He has served on the MSA Coalition Board of Directors the past year. Before MSA, Tom enjoyed a vibrant career in the tech industry. Stints at Oracle, Active Software and Microsoft were overshadowed by his memorable six year stretch (NeXT/Apple) working closely with the late Steve Jobs. Tom was also an accomplished high school and collegiate basketball player, and an active lifelong athlete. His final project with the MSA Coalition board will be to help launch the upcoming “One Less Thing” fundraising initiative to help find a cure and better treatment regiments for MSA patients