Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our salute to you

DMRF Founders Fran and Sam Belzberg in Vancouver with the Olympic torch. Sam Belzberg was an official flame carrier and is pictured here in the uniform of those who carried the torch for these games.

Athletes prepare for years to qualify for the Olympic competition. They work tirelessly on conditioning, skill building and strategy – all with an eye toward the dream of winning a gold, silver or bronze medal someday. Persons living with dystonia are all gold medal winners in our eyes. They too work tirelessly to develop the skills it takes to manage life with dystonia, creating strategies for how to overcome the limitations dystonia has imposed and the effort to do this is equal or more than that of an Olympiad. We salute those struggling to overcome the burdens of dystonia and go into our annual meeting, research reviews and planning for 2010, inspired by your stories, your courage and strength.

Friday, February 19, 2010

DMRF Update

Pictured above are Jan Teller (standing) and Mahlon DeLong.

The DMRF has been working to prepare for the annual meeting of our Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) and Board of Directors meetings scheduled for February 25 to 27th. This is a busy but exciting time for the Foundation. Our wonderful MSAC members will review the grant and fellowship applications – discussing the scientific merit and the applications relevancy.

I wish everyone could witness this process as these reviews are thorough and thoughtful. Our MSAC members work with an understanding of the urgency in the community and the need for us to invest in those projects and investigators that are most likely to produce another piece of this dystonia puzzle – leading us to have a fuller scientific picture. Leading this effort is Mahlon DeLong, the Foundation’s Scientific Director and Jan Teller, the Foundation’s Science Officer – we are fortunate to have the benefit of these two dedicated individuals and are grateful to them for all they do for the DMRF and the dystonia community.

Joining us this year for this meeting will be the President and Executive Director of the European Dystonia Federation (EDF). We know that solving the dystonia mystery is going to take a global effort and we are so pleased that they are joining us for this meeting and discussions on how we can continue our collaboration going into 2010 and beyond.

The DMRF Board will also be discussing a number of new and exciting program initiatives. We look forward to sharing those with all of you following the meeting. Stay tuned for research and program announcements in March.