Monday, August 29, 2011

A Feeling of Community

Like you might expect, when I was finally diagnosed with dystonia after struggling with it for a number of years I rushed home and went online to learn more. I wanted to educate myself about the disorder that had taken so much away from me. I had hopes of finding some magic bullet that might make it go away and make me a "normal" person once again. What I found after just one click of the search engine was the DMRF! It instantly became clear to me that I wasn't alone in searching for a cure and that there were decades of outstanding efforts already invested by the DMRF and the families and individuals who founded and continue to serve the organization. My dystonia was a personal struggle that had been very lonely for me up until that point. That feeling of loneliness has been transformed into a feeling of community - a community driven to support each other while pushing forward through the seemingly impossible science needed to understand the miracle of the human brain.

Never would I have thought that neurology would become as big a part of my daily consciousness as it is today. Some people know of my son and his courageous battle with epilepsy. I can't go more than a few minutes in any day without feeling an immense urgency for the advancement of neuroscience. And never would I have thought while sitting at my computer during my first visit to the DMRF website that I would one day be nominated to the board of directors. It is profoundly humbling to be surrounded by people whose dedication and hard work have put the DMRF at the forefront of the quest for a cure. I'm honored to be joining the board as the DMRF leads important initiatives that will lead to a globalization of our community and the sharing of research currently going on all across the world. Joining the DMRF board of directors inspires me to raise my own expectations for how I can contribute towards finding a cure, how I can better support the raising of awareness of dystonia worldwide and most importantly how I can be an asset to any and all individuals who struggle with the challenges dystonia poses for their own sense of wholeness and self-worth. Together we make greater progress towards our future goal - a world without dystonia.

Billy McLaughlin
DMRF, ex-officio board member

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