Andrei Floroiu, a former Wall Street investor in biotechnology companies developing Multiple Sclerosis drugs, became intimately exposed to the lives of those with MS. Interacting with over 500 people with MS and over 100 MS doctors in the US and Europe, Andrei realized how little most of us know about MS and the lives of those touched by this terrible disease. The personal stories, challenges, hopes, desperation and unbelievable strength of those with MS made him realize that awareness about the disease is as important to those living with it as the research in which he was investing.
In the Spring of 2010 Andrei was thinking about flying a small plane across the Atlantic to Europe, when he realized that such a journey captivated many people's imagination and had the potential to attract significant attention. Together with Matt Feig, a long time supporter of the MS cause, they started exploring the possibility of using this attention for MS, a cause they knew was in dire need of increased awareness.
Inspired by the audacity of the idea and the impact it could have on the lives of those with MS the rest of the team quickly joined the initial group.
Initially, the journey was to include stops in about 20 countries. Early consultations with American and European MS advocates and organizations revealed great enthusiasm for the idea. People with MS where thrilled to hear about our plans. See some of their early reactions here
This confirmed that seeing that others - namely people that do not have MS - care would only bring so much inspiration to those living with MS.
These reactions confirmed that such a mission would greatly help MS organizations expand beyond the audiences they had been able to reach. See more about their limitations here
As more national MS organizations expressed interest in participating, the mission was gradually expanded to include 30 countries. It would become the largest-scale MS event ever organized, and the first cohesive global MS initiative.