SHORT HILLS, NJ – Despite the rain and cold, hundreds of community residents came out to The Hartshorn School Sunday to support Jake’s Ride.  The annual fundraiser raises funds and awareness for Dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.

Jake’s Ride for Dystonia Research began in 2008, after Jake Silverman, a young boy from Short Hills, New Jersey, was diagnosed with early onset childhood dystonia and underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dystonia’s painful muscle spasms had forced Jake out of school and into a wheelchair. Over time, this surgery significantly restored Jake’s quality of life.

Jake recently completed his sophomore year at American University and also serves as a Team Fox junior spokesperson for dystonia on national media and speaking platforms. While he has made significant progress, his dystonia is not cured.  Dystonia may be an inherited condition caused by genetic mutations. It can also result from exposure to certain drugs, birth injuries, strokes, or as a symptom of other neurological disorders. For many patients, however, the cause remains unknown.

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David Gardner, a friend of the Silverman family and a Short Hills resident, started Jake’s Ride as a way to help create awareness of the disease and to raise money to find a cure.  What started with a small group of friends and family, Jake’s Ride today is one of the largest grass roots organizations in providing grants for dystonia and Parkinson’s research.  The nonprofit organization has raised over $2.5 million since its inception.

The Jake’s Ride Committee wishes to thank the generous support of individual donors and volunteers who have worked tirelessly this year to make Jake’s Ride a success.  They also want to thank the generous sponsors for their support, to include; The Silverman Family, Jackson Family Wines, Allied Beverage Group, Enclose, Jody and David Gardner, Livingston Bagel, The Meat House Summit, Goldstein Shiebler Family, Vantastic Shuttle, Wells Fargo, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, High Gear Cyclery, Investors Bank, Joanna  Parker-Lentz, Jodi Rubenstein,  Millburn Police Benevolent Association, Pumped Up Sup, River Road Portraits, Sue Adler Team, Summit Soundz Entertainment, TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills, Tourbillon Boutique, Valley National Bank and Weichert Realtors.