Minneapolis Woman With Debilitating Movement Disorder To Compete In Twin Cities Marathon
Jennifer Cannon, who was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia in 2006, will be competing in the Twin Cities Marathon as part of her effort to increase awareness for a little known disorder but is well known to the nearly 1 million Americans affected.
American Dystonia Society (ADS, www.dystonia.us) is pleased to support fellow dystonia patient Jennifer Cannon of Minneapolis Minnesota, who will be competing in the Twin Cities Marathon on October 3, 2010. While such a feat is no easy task for anyone, she will be battling dystonia through every step of all 26.2 miles. Dystonia is a debilitating neurological movement disorder that causes severe uncontrollable involuntary muscle spasms that result in extreme pain and temporary or permanent disability.
Ms Cannon started running in 2004. In 2006, a history of multiple brain injuries and a recurrent shoulder dislocation began to catch up with her. After appointments with numerous different specialists, it was eventually determined she was fighting dystonia, which developed as a result of her traumatic brain injuries (TBI). As there is no cure for dystonia, Ms. Cannon receives Botox injections every 11 weeks to mitigate her symptoms and improve her quality of life and has a team of doctors at the University of Minnesota who monitor her care.
Jen is in constant pain and unable to sit for long at a desk. Sometimes the dystonia can make running incredibly difficult, triggering painful spasms in her neck and abdominal muscles that force her to pause to lie down to get relief from the pain. Not one to give up, Jen is determined to continue her love of running while fighting to increase awareness for a disorder that may affect up to one million fellow Americans. Her vigorous exercise and training help her overactive muscles to relax. Jen finds a freedom in running that nothing else can match and is determined to keep going despite her condition.
American Dystonia Society shares Jen’s goal to raise awareness and is pleased to help her in this courageous and painstaking effort. Only one week until the race and her training has been paying off. Come out and cheer her on, she’ll be wearing number 2649!