Dystonia Zoo Day, the highly anticipated annual fundraising event organized in the Twin Cities by Shanna and Brad Schmitt, legislative advocates, and leaders of a dystonia support group, in collaboration with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF), successfully kicked off its season at the Como Zoo & Conservatory on June 24th. This remarkable event brought together communities with a shared commitment to raising awareness and supporting dystonia research.

Dystonia Zoo Day aims to create an engaging and inclusive environment for individuals and families affected by dystonia. The event at Como Zoo & Conservatory offered attendees a unique experience, including the opportunity to explore the zoo, participate in family friendly activities, and listen to special guests such as Billy McLaughlin, DMRF Awareness Ambassador and musician, and Dr. Stephanie Standal from M Health Fairview. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s proclamation of June 24th as Dystonia Awareness Day, along with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s proclamation of September as Dystonia Awareness Month, added even more significance to the occasion.

“Dystonia Zoo Day in the Twin Cities marks the beginning of a journey toward increased awareness and support for dystonia research,” stated Mark Rudolph, President of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. “We are grateful to the passionate individuals and families who came together to make this event a success.”
Dystonia Zoo Day embraces a non-competitive approach, providing a platform for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to come together and show their support. By fostering a sense of community, Dystonia Zoo Day aims to raise awareness about this disabling brain disorder characterized by excessive, involuntary muscle contractions, and promote understanding and compassion among the public.

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation remains committed to organizing successful Zoo Days events in various cities throughout the next few months. These events serve as powerful catalysts for raising awareness and generating support for research that will lead to improved treatments and, ultimately, a better future for individuals and families affected by dystonia.

For more information about Dystonia Zoo Days, including upcoming events and opportunities to get involved, please click the button below. We are grateful for the support of our national sponsors for Dystonia Zoo Days: AbbVie, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, and Merz Therapeutics.