Not many people or even doctors know about Dystonia.
But the Medford Chamber of Commerce could not let their hard-working president, Linda Davis, face the debilitating disorder on her own.
So this Wednesday night, Aug. 29, there will be a concert in the park in her honor.
“Pump” — an Aerosmith tribute band — will be performing from 7 – 9 p.m. at Medford Memorial Park on Route 112, next to Carvel.
“Dystonia is a neuromuscular disease that causes significant muscle spasms throughout the entire body, to the point where you can’t sleep,” the chamber’s new secretary, Erinkelly Connell, explained to GreaterPatchogue. “Dystonia causes repeated muscle contractions that result in abnormal movements and posture. The disease cannot be cured.
The concert is timed to kick off September, which in 2016 Assemblyman Dean Murray had officially named “Dystonia Awareness Month” through the state Legislature.
When Davis was diagnosed in 2009, she knew her world would never be the same. But she didn’t let it get the best of her.
“Linda comes into work every day with a smile on her face and that’s not easy,” said Connell, a co-worker and close friend to Davis.
The necklace around Davis’s neck speaks clearly to her positive attitude towards her disorder.
It reads, “Never give up – Dystonia warrior.”
“Giving up is not an option and it’s not in my vocabulary. I’ll keep fighting,” Davis told us as she toyed with the pendant in her hands.
Davis further explained that there are an estimated 500,000 people who are currently affected by the spasmatic disorder in North America alone.
Although there is no getting rid of the disorder altogether, there is treatment.
Botox injections are common for people with Dystonia. The procedure helps paralyze the muscles so that they don’t pull or spasm.
Treatment also includes physical therapy and deep massage therapy.
“However, once the muscle receptors identify that you massaged the knot out, it comes back with a vengeance and doubles the pain,” Connell lamented.
“We are selling t-shirts at $15 each to raise funds for the cause. All of the proceeds are going to the Dystonia Medical Foundation,” said Davis.
People can place their order through PayPal at PayPal.me/LindaD .
“Just being president of the chamber is bringing so much awareness, because of what my secretary Erinkelly started to do for me,” Davis said.
The two have learned to support each other through trying times.
“This is the first year we are choosing to honor someone at our summer concert series,” said Connell.
Murray will also be presenting Davis with a proclamation on behalf of the state.
County Legislator Rob Calarco, town Councilman Neil Foley, and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine will also be in attendance.
There will be cotton candy, popcorn, and free face painting for all children.
Non-perishable food items are also being collected at the concert for Long Island Cares.
Photo: A scene from the Aug. 22 installment of Medford’s concerts in the park series at Memorial Park on Route 112.
(Credit: Ethan Meyer/That Guy Event Photo + Design)