2020 Jackson Mooney Patient Grant Winners Announced


On behalf of the DMRF Canada Board of Directors, and grant sponsor Jackson Mooney, we are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Jackson Mooney Patient Grant for Dystonia.

The Jackson Mooney Dystonia Patient Grant is an annual grant that was established by Jackson to provide financial assistance of up to $5,000.00 for Canadian residents who are living with dystonia, in financial need, and committed to enhancing their current situation through furthering their education. 

This year, the grant committee opted to provide funding for education to two very worthy candidates:

Jennifer Ashton

Jennifer Ashton of British Columbia, was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia this past February, after nearly 20 years of being misdiagnosed with MS.  A writer, artist, and life-long learner, Jenn’s goal is to take a Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership with the long term goal to go on to teach and/or help to write policy and procedure at the administrative level for First Nations programming, which is a particular passion, given that Jenn is of Squamish First Nations Ancestry. 

The Jackson Mooney Patient Grant Review Committee was moved and inspired by Jenn’s story, and felt that her courage to continue to learn and grow over the course of her life was an important lesson for those living with dystonia.

Learn more about Jenn here.  

Shelby Newkirk

Shelby Newkirk was originally diagnosed with focal dystonia in 2010 at the age of 13 as it seemed that only her right foot was affected.  As time went on, her dystonia progressed, and her diagnosis was changed to generalized progressive dystonia. Now, because of the effects of her dystonia, she is no longer able to walk without mobility devices and use a wheelchair most of the time. Her dystonia affects her limbs, torso, face and throat.

Because of Shelby’s progressive dystonia, and the fact that she now tires more quickly, she of had to alter her initial plan of working full time with young people who have a disability, and is now focusing on working as a consultant with schools to ensure they are more accessible for students. As someone who has had to experience the challenge of being a student, Shelby is well equipped and passionate about this career path.

Learn more about Shelby here.


\Jennifer Ashton


2020 Jackson Mooney Patient Grant Co-Winner Jenn Ashton

“Thank you very much to the Committee, and to the Mooney family.  I am so grateful that you felt that I was a good candidate for this competition.”


Shelby Newkirk



2020 Jackson Mooney Patient Grant Co-Winner Shelby Newkirk

“I am so excited and feel so honoured! This grant will allow me to purchase assistive technology that will help me so much with my education.”
















On behalf of the dystonia community, DMRF Canada wishes to thank Jackson Mooney, and we wish Jenn and Shelby the very best with the next step in their career paths. To learn more about Jenn. Shelby and Jackson Mooney, visit our Patient Stories page.   

Last update: Oct 2022