Making Music for Multiple Sclerosis

Simcha Kackley likened her husband Matt’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis to an episode of House.

The doctors couldn’t find out why his legs were numb for a month straight, so they tested him for every potential disease. West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and AIDS were all on the table¬—and all came back negative.

“We were going around and around about what it could possibly be. A month passed before they excluded everything and landed on MS. It’s an exclusionary disease with no definitive test, so if nothing else shows up, that’s usually what it is,” Simcha said.

The diagnosis came less than a month before their wedding. A police officer in Arlington Heights, Matt had to take desk duty because of his inability to walk. Simcha and the rest of the family worried about how multiple sclerosis—a disease that attacks the central nervous system—would affect his daily life. Currently there is no known cure for MS.

The feeling of helplessness spurred Simcha to do something about it. Rather than just donate money, she wanted to use her business savvy to drum up local support and raise money for the cause.

“"To make the impact I wanted to make, I knew I needed help; so we tried to think of an event many people would enjoy," Simcha said. “I like to dance and I love music. Cincinnati has a great local music scene and I like supporting local music. A family friend who owns 20th Century Theater in Oakley agreed to host the event for us, so it seemed like a concert would be a great way to raise money.”

And so Rock ‘n Aspire of Cincinnati was born.

In two years, the annual fundraiser has raised more than $10,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Now Simcha and several local volunteers are working hard to make the third event the most successful yet.

The concert will take place on Saturday, February 25th at 20th Century Theater and will feature drinks, appetizers, raffles and music by the Sunshine Elsewhere, the Prohibitionists and the Harlequins.

“It’s so important we support the National MS Society in the search for a cure for multiple sclerosis and help the quality of life of those affected,” Simcha said.

Do Good:

•    Sponsor Rock ‘n Aspire. Each year, the event raffles off more than $5,000 in sponsored goods to attendees.

•    Like Rock ‘n Aspire on a Facebook for exclusive promos and updates.

•    Attend the event. You can buy tickets on the website at or by calling 20th Century Theater. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
By Kim Burdett
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