Former Vet Tech Celebrates Special Role of Dogs for Individuals Disabled by Dystonia

Dogs for Dystonia Walk Brings Visibility to Little-known Brain Disorder
The Dogs for Dystonia Walk is August 24.
The Dogs for Dystonia Walk is August 24.
MARION, Iowa - Aug. 12, 2019 - PRLog -- Sheila Killham is a former veterinary technician whose career ended unexpectedly due to dystonia, a disabling brain disorder. The symptoms began with muscle spasms in her vocal cords which progressed to affect her neck, legs, and feet. The symptoms impact her speech, swallowing, and mobility. Killham started the East Central Iowa Corridor Dystonia Support Group in partnership with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) to support others impacted by dystonia in the area.

Dystonia is characterized by excessive, involuntary muscle contractions that result in twisting, repetitive muscle movements and abnormal postures of the body and limbs. There are many manifestations of dystonia that impact people of all ages and backgrounds. Common signs include twisting or abnormal movements of the head and neck, excessive blinking, a breathy or choking voice, hand cramps, or a twisted foot. Dogs have a special role in the dystonia community as pets and service animals.

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

WHAT: The annual Dogs for Dystonia Walk invites dog lovers to celebrate the important role dogs play in people's lives, and particularly those impacted by dystonia and other disabilities. The Dog Walk is one of numerous events happening throughout the country to raise dystonia awareness and funds for research. Proceeds benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.

Registration is $20 for adults/$10 for children. Registration includes a dystonia t-shirt. There will be a super hero-themed costume contest, demonstrations, silent auction, and raffle. Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations and be leashed.

WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 2019. Registration opens at 8:30 am. Activities 9:30 am – 11:30 am.

WHERE: Thomas Park, Begley Pavilions #1 & 2 (343 Marion Blvd, Marion, Iowa)

MEDIA: For more information about the event and/or to schedule an interview, contact Sheila Killham at For more information about the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, visit

Jessica Feeley
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