Everybody's Zooing It! Thousands Attend Dystonia Zoo Walks to Find a Cure for Disabling Brain Disorder

Thirteen cities across the country are hosting Dystonia Zoo Walks
Dystonia is a little known brain disorder that affects 250,000 Americans.
Dystonia is a little known brain disorder that affects 250,000 Americans.
CHICAGO - July 29, 2019 - PRLog -- Dystonia Zoo Walks are not your typical charity walk. The purpose of these events is to increase awareness of dystonia, a little-known but surprisingly common neurological disorder. Proceeds support the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF), which funds medical research toward a cure and programs for affected individuals and families. Zoo Walks attract 5,000+ participants annually.

The 4th Twin Cities Dystonia Zoo Walk on June 22 was organized by Shanna and Brad Schmitt, Billy McLaughlin, and the Minnesota Dystonia Support Group. Brad Schmitt developed cervical dystonia, affecting his neck. Cervical dystonia is among the most common types of dystonia.

"For me, the zoo walks represent a local, tangible hope for more connections, more treatments, and a cure," says Shanna Schmitt. "Every year, we reach more people who now know what dystonia is. We're actually part of the solution when we participate locally."

The 6th Detroit Dystonia Zoo Walk took place July 14. DMRF Community Leadership Council Member Rosemary Young organizes the event in honor of her young son Kavin, who has dystonia.

The 4th Portland Dystonia Zoo Walk, organized by Dee Linde and members of the Portland, Oregon & Southwest Washington Dystonia Support Group, was July 20. Linde  developed dystonia as a result of prescribed medications. She was among the first dystonia patients to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Upcoming Dystonia Zoo Walks are taking place in St. Louis, Cleveland, Bronx/NYC, Pittsburgh, Providence, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Toledo, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

Dystonia Zoo Walks do not have a formal walking course or required distance. National sponsors include Ipsen and Allergan.

Dystonia is a chronic, often disabling, neurological disorder marked by excessive, involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal body movements and postures. Common signs include abnormal movements of the head and neck, excessive blinking, a breathy or choking voice, hand cramps, or a twisted foot. Dystonia impacts people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

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