Local Support Leaders Unite to Organize 2nd Philadelphia Dystonia Zoo Walk to Raise Awareness


500 people gathered on September 30 to support the 2nd Annual Philadelphia Dystonia Zoo Walk organized by DMRF Support Leaders Janice and Len Nachbar and Raman Patel. The Nachbars are longtime dystonia advocates on behalf of their daughter Joanna Manusov. The Zoo Walk was a joint effort of several area support groups: Dystonia Support & Action Group of Greater Philadelphia, Central Jersey Dystonia Support & Action Group, and Southeast Pennsylvania Dystonia Support Group.

Special guests included US Congressman Dwight Evans, Dr. Pedro Gonzalez-Alegre, Director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and Debra Ronning. Debra shared that the date of the Zoo Walk fell on the anniversary of the death of her daughter Annie Ritsch, who had dystonia and was a devoted dystonia awareness advocate. DMRF Leadership Chairperson Paula Schneider was also in attendance to support the event.

Allergan, Ipsen, Merz Neurosciences, and US World Meds were among the event sponsors.

The Dystonia Zoo Walk was covered by Fox 29 TV and KYW Newsradio, promoting widespread awareness throughout the metro region.

Dystonia Zoo Walks offer a “twist” on traditional charity walks with no required walking course or expectation other than enjoying a morning at the zoo connecting with others in the dystonia community and promoting awareness. More information about Dystonia Zoo Walks and additional DMRF events is available at www.dystonia-foundation.org/events.

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. The DMRF can be reached at 800-377-3978 or www.dystonia-foundation.org.

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