MSA Trust

Sir David Hare to broadcast the BBC Radio 4 Appeal for the MSA Trust

For immediate release: Thursday 18 December 2014

Playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director, Sir David Hare, will be broadcasting the BBC Radio 4 Appeal on Sunday, 11 January 2015 to raise funds for the UK charity, Multiple System Atrophy Trust (MSA Trust).

Sir David Hare, an MSA Champion for the Trust, became personally affected by the rare neurological disease, multiple system atrophy (MSA), when his best friend and founder of the MSA Trust, Sarah Matheson, was diagnosed with the disease in 1993 and eventually died in 1999.

Speaking on why he wanted to become involved in the Appeal, Sir David Hare said:

“It’s in her memory that I have recorded this and hope that people who get this disease in the future will feel less lonely because of the Trust’s work”.

You can listen here to why Sir David was so keen to be involved with the BBC Radio 4 Appeal.

MSA causes brain cells to shrink resulting in problems with balance, movement and automatic functions like speech and swallowing. Some people with MSA say the disease traps them in their own bodies. There is no known cause or cure for MSA which strikes at random, usually when people are in their 50s. Around 3000 people in the UK have MSA. The latter stages of MSA can be extremely challenging and people often need around the clock care.

In 1997, Sarah founded the Trust after being horrified at how little was known about the illness and the scarce amount of support that was available for those affected by it. She started the first support group in her sister’s front room, she was adamant that anyone affected by the disease should have someone to turn to. Sir David Hare said:

“It was her determination that she would use the last years of her life to some good purpose”.

The MSA Trust is the UK’s main charity that supports people with MSA and their families and carers. It provides specialist nurses, an email and telephone support service and it is the primary funder in the UK of research to find the cause, and one day cure, of the disease.

Nickie Roberts, Executive Director, of the Trust, commented:

“A huge thank you to Sir David for the work he does for the Trust, and for his participation in the BBC Radio 4 Appeal. We rely entirely on donations to fund our specialist nurses who support people struggling night and day with the many physical and emotional challenges caused by this devastating disease, a challenge made so much harder by MSA being rare and often little understood.  Our goal is to change this and donations received from this Appeal will help us to fight MSA and make sure nobody has to face this disease alone.”

―   ENDS   ―


Franca Tranza:, 07718 42607
Head of Communications

The MSA Trust is a charity funded entirely by voluntary donations. For further information on our work, read our latest MSA News magazine HERE

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