KIMMSWICK, MO - A Kimmswick couple is fighting back against the deadly disease MSA. It struck Rey Umali but he has chosen to brush it aside and paint.
Rey Umali doesn’t know much time he has left to live. So, he has chosen to paint with a purpose.
Umali says, "how many hours a day are painting now? Probably 8-9 hours a day.
He was diagnosed with MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) three years ago. There is no cure. Life expectancy is 3-9 years. The disease has attacked his speech, his balance, and his body but not his heart or mind.
Umali says, “my goal is for everyone to know and be aware of MSA.”
With so much talent to offer and paintings sitting around. Ray decided to start selling his work with all proceeds going to defeatmsa.org.
Angela Umali is ray's Wife, “we didn’t know if we would sell a single piece. We probably sold 50-70 pieces. I think we raised $5,000 on Friday night.”
Not only is there no cure for MSA, doctors don't know what causes it. More research awareness and money is needed to fight the disease. As long as Rey can physically paint, he will do his part.
Umali says, “if there is a will there is a way. There's always a way.
Rey's wife says he is a good artist. She is proud of him and believes this is his legacy. “To do this keeps his spirits up. It keeps him going every day. To be able to sell paintings and donate money has been rewarding.”
If you would like more on MSA or how to purchase paintings go to defeatmsa.org.