Friday, June 25, 2010

Ongoing Battle

As you know, we celebrated the addition of dystonia to the list of eligible diseases/disorders for funding considerations through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, managed by the Department of Defense. Getting listed was the first big hurdle – keeping dystonia listed will be an ongoing battle.

On Wednesday morning, DMRF member and DAN advocate, Kathy Rentfrow, who is both a military spouse and the parent of a child with dystonia, presented testimony to the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee – during its first hearing on the FY 2011 Defense Appropriations Bill. The significance of being called to testify before the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee cannot be understated. We are so grateful to Kathy for her willingness to testify and to share her family’s story so that the entire dystonia committee may benefit. We are hopeful that the invitation for a dystonia representative to appear before the Subcommittee greatly improves our chances of having dystonia remain on the eligible conditions list.

We know a number of dystonia researchers have applied for support for research funding through this program and thanks to Kathy and the many dystonia advocates, we hope the opportunity will continue through next year – and beyond!

Click to hear the testimony

Monday, June 7, 2010

In Memoriam - Shari Farber Tritt

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of a member of the DMRF family, Shari Farber Tritt. Shari and her husband Ira touched the hearts of millions through the dystonia documentary film, TWISTED several years ago. For those of us who knew her, Shari was an inspiration every day. Although dystonia took much from her, she never let it defeat her. Shari had a love of life, an infectious laughter, a devotion to her family and the courage she demonstrated was a source of strength for so many in our community. Shari died on Saturday after a tragic accident in their swimming pool. She will be missed by many. Our sympathies go out to Ira, her parents, Harriett and Joel, and her sister Beth.