The 14th Chicago Basket Bash, which took place October 27 at Joe’s Live Rosemont, is a charity prize raffle to raise dystonia awareness and funds for research toward a cure. The Basket Bash was started by the late Harriett Farber and her husband Joel Farber, in honor of daughter Shari Farber Tritt, who was diagnosed with generalized dystonia as a young child. The couple’s younger daughter Beth Farber and husband Steve Laser also spearhead the event. DMRF supporter and dystonia advocate Hannah Thompson provided greetings and remarks. Since 2005, the Farbers have made the Basket Bash a family tradition, cumulatively raising more than $280,000 for medical research.
The Farber family persevered alongside Shari through several misdiagnoses, multiple brain surgeries, and ultimately an accident that caused Shari to pass away unexpectedly in 2010 at age 45. Shari had become a well-known and beloved personality in the dystonia community after appearing in the 2006 documentary film, Twisted. Harriett Farber passed away last year after prolonged illness. Harriett spent countless hours, over decades, offering encouragement to dystonia-affected families and fundraising for research toward a cure. In addition to fundraising, the Farbers have volunteered on behalf of the DMRF by providing support to affected individuals and families, speaking at DMRF events, and traveling to Washington, DC to educate Members of Congress on the needs of the dystonia community.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes excessive, uncontrollable muscle spasms. The muscle spasms twist the body and limbs into involuntary movements and awkward postures. Estimates suggest 250,000 Americans are affected. Although treatment options exist, there is not yet a cure.
The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation 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.