Portrait of smiling woman with a white bob hair style and wearing a pearl necklace.
Frances Belzberg was honored for her transformation of dystonia research and patient resources.

Frances Belzberg, who in 1976 co-founded the DMRF with her late husband Samuel Belzberg, was one of 16 individuals appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest recognition. More than 250 individuals were nominated this year. In 1996, Ms. Belzberg was appointed to the Order of Canada, the nation’s second highest honor of merit.

In his testimony in support of the appointment, dystonia expert Dr. Anthony Lang explained that “[the] establishment of the DMRF essentially revolutionized the field” and that “Frances has been an active driver and supporter of the work of the foundation.” Dr. Lang is Director of the Morton & Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic and Lily Safra Chair in Movement Disorders at the Toronto Western Hospital, and Officer of the Order of Canada.

Forty-five years later, Ms. Belzberg remains actively involved with DMRF and DMRF-Canada. President of DMRF Art Kessler remarked, “On behalf of the DMRF Board of Directors, we congratulate Fran on this achievement and thank her for her tireless efforts on behalf of the dystonia community. I have personally and profoundly benefited from her vision for what DMRF has become and, like so many others who have been helped, am indebted to her decades of investment and dedication.”

In addition to being recognized for founding the DMRF, Ms. Belzberg was honored for efforts to advance research and awareness for HIV/AIDS  and for partnering with the Government of Canada on an initiative to inspire civic engagement among young people. Ms. Belzberg was interviewed on CBC Radio about her recent achievement.

In the video below, Ms. Belzberg reflects on the founding of the DMRF.

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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.