RALEIGH, N.C. — Multiple system atrophy, known as MSA, is a rare but fatal disease that currently has no cure. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the disease affects three in 100,000 people. 

Author and artist Julia Freifeld of Raleigh published a book last year, "In Each Other’s Bones," detailing her husband’s diagnosis of MSA. She journaled as she became his caregiver until he died in 2014.

What You Need To Know

  • MSA is a rare, but fatal, disease
  • The disease affects 3 in 100,000 people
  • During MSA Awareness Month, a Triangle author and florist have teamed up

“I thought one day when I'm going to do with these journals, I'm going to burn them. They're too personal. They're too, too raw, too sad. But lo and behold, I thought, 'well, maybe I have a book here and maybe I can help others,'” Freifeld said.

Katelyn Schneider, who also lives in the Triangle, knows her pain. 

Her mother also died from MSA. 

“I started collecting flowers from my parents property, like wildflowers and just putting them together and bringing bunches to her resting place, and I started to fall in love with flowers,” Schneider said.

Schneider was working at a mold remediation company at the time, but putting the bouquets together for her mom’s grave inspired her to open Bee Bloomin Florist in Cary

“It’s beauty in the midst of grief because I was grieving my mom and I found love in flowers,” Schneider said. “It’s hard to watch someone you love slowly get taken away from you. So I don't want that on anyone else.”

Freifeld met Schneider through a mutual friend. They’ve decided to partner for MSA Awareness Month. 

Everyone who purchases a MSA bouquet from Schneider’s shop will receive a copy of Freifeld’s book. 

“With MSA, it is three out of 100,000 people, right? They can feel isolated, they can feel hopeless because there is no cure. So MSA awareness, we are shining a light on this disease,” Freifeld said.