Marc Stecker was director of DVD production for a major international music company based in New York City when he started having trouble walking. Within four years he was at home, disabled by what seemed to be Primary Progressive MS, and "retired” from the career and life he knew.
After spending some time ruminating, Marc learned everything he could about MS and turned his talents to writing a blog he launched in 2009 as www.wheelchairkamikaze.com. In it he uses photos and video shot from a camera mounted on his powerchair, oftentimes traveling at high speed over the bumpy streets of his beloved Manhattan. The blog presents the visitor a view of life with chronic illness served with brutal honesty and a “side” of humor. It also provides very clear summaries of current MS research and gives voice to the issues that are forefront among fellow MS warriors. It has received almost 4 million page-views and has won numerous awards over the years.
In recognition of his leadership in the patient community, Marc was invited to be a founding member of the BNAC Advisory Council in 2010. As a Council member, Marc has had the opportunity to get to know the BNAC researchers. Thanks to his encouragement over several years, BNAC began investigating the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and its relationship to MS. This new line of research recently yielded significant findings by BNAC about lesion pathology in some MS patients with higher EBV antibody levels.
This award was created in 2020 to foster innovative and patient-centric research by BNAC researchers seeking a cure for multiple sclerosis.
The Marc Stecker Award
The award will be given to a candidate who meets one of
the following criteria: any BNAC research affiliate, including BNAC full-time employee,
PhD student, Masters or undergraduate student, research Fellow, or BNAC consultant
who has been working with BNAC for at least one year. Nominations should be sent to
Dr. Robert Zivadinov, BNAC Director and can be submitted by any BNAC research
associate or BNAC Advisory Council member. They must include explanation and
examples of how the nominee displays these qualities:
- Evidence of persistence, courage and a willingness to pursue ideas that
are not necessarily part of the mainstream
- A vision that includes patient-centered outcomes and ideas
- An ability to communicate neurology research to a non-medical audience
in a readily understandable manner
Nominations will be reviewed by the BNAC Research Committee and the Director.
This award will be given in honor of Marc Stecker, a founding member of the BNAC Advisory
Council and a faithful supporter of research into the causes of and cures for multiple sclerosis.
A minimum of one year experience with BNAC with affiliation from one of these categories:
- Full or part-time employee
- Candidate for PhD, Masters or undergraduate degree
- Research Fellow
- BNAC consultant
Nominations must include written explanation and examples to demonstrate these qualities:
- Evidence of persistence, courage, and a willingness to pursue ideas that are not
necessarily part of the mainstream.
- A vision that includes patient-centered outcomes and ideas as part of their work
- An ability to communicate neurology research to a non-medical audience in a readily
- Nominations in writing may be made by a BNAC research associate or a member of the
BNAC Advisory Council and submitted to the Director.
- The timeline for nominations and award decision will be announced.
Timeline for Application
- October 1st of calendar year
- The BNAC Director, along with the Research Committee will review nominations and
select an award recipient by November 1st
Value of the Award and Funding
- The recipient will receive $1,000
- Donations to support this award may be made to the BNAC Account item as stipulated
by the Director