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Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Honors Two Warren Men for Promoting Awareness of Debilitating Disease



8/26/2011 5:59:50 AM

WARREN, Mich., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jason Dunn and Mike Delise recently returnedfromthe Children & Family Dystonia Symposium in Chicago, where they were presented with Star Awards. The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) recognized Dunn and Delise for their efforts to promote greater public awareness of dystonia, a neurological disease.

"I think this is probably the only time in my life that I am speechless," says Dunn. "I wasn't expecting this award at all."

"Bringing awareness and donations to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is the single most important thing we can dothis is how a cure will be found," says Delise. "The people who deserve this award are all the people who have dystonia who bring awareness every minute of their life. Jason is my hero and to be able to help your hero is a thrill for me."

Dunn began exhibiting unusual postures and an awkward gait at age 6. While most children this age are mastering their abilities to run, jump, and somersault, Dunn was struggling. Over the next few years, his body was consumed by unrelenting, involuntary muscle spasms that made it difficult or impossible to walk, sit, write, and speak.

When Dunn was in high school, he met and made a powerful impression on Delise, the father of one of Dunn's peers. Delise became an uncle figure and buddy to Dunn, frequently inviting Dunn to his home and sharing his enthusiasm for Detroit sports teams, especially Lions football. Delise has also supported Dunn's desires to promote greater awareness of dystonia by working with local news media and using online social networks. The pair has organized fundraisers on behalf of the DMRF. Because dystonia prevents Dunn from communicating verbally, the two joke that Delise has taken on the role of Dunn's "agent" by making phone calls and coordinating arrangements.

In 2010, Dunn and Delise were featured on the television program, Extraordinary Humans: Muscles, produced by the National Geographic Channel. Theprogram provided a detailed look into how dystonia affects Dunn' daily life. Extraordinary Humans: Muscles was premiered in June 2010 and was re-aired in the following weeks, including internationally and in Spanish, reaching millions of viewers and earning Dunn a large online following.

"Jason and Mike make an impressive team," says DMRF Executive Director Janet Hieshetter. "It takes courage to share your life on national television. They have done an amazing job promoting awareness of dystonia in the Detroit area and around the world."

Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily resulting in twisting, repetitive movements and abnormal postures. Dystonia affects men, women, and children. There is no known cure.

Founded in 1976, the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to advance research toward improved treatments and a cure, promoting education and awareness, and providing support resources to affected individuals and families. The organization can be reached at http://www.dystonia-foundation.org or 800-377-DYST (3978).

Contact: Jessica Feeley, Ph: 912-510-0337, jfeeley@dystonia-foundation.org

SOURCE Dystonia Medical Research Foundation


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