Jumpin' for Jazz will have a benefit concert 1-4 p.m. June 10 at the Jazz Kitchen. Tickets are $20 online at thejazzkitchen.com. and $25 at the door. The Rob Dixon Trio, The Morris Kienle Duo and Fresh Water will perform.
Virgil Harris founded Jumpin for Jazz after his daughter, Jazmyne, was diagnosed at age 14 with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder that is a rare, untreatable and incurable. Although inherited at birth, FA usually develops in adolescence and affects less than 6,000 people in the United States and 20,000 worldwide. Most people with FA don’t live past 35 as the disorder impairs motor skills and leads to heart complications and loss of speech.
Jazmyne is a graduate of Bishop Chatard High School and is currently studying psychology and criminology at Indiana State University.
Jumpin for Jazz has raised more than $60,000 for research. The guest speaker will be Dr. Mark Payne, a pediatric cardiologist at Riley Hospital for Children IU Health, who has developed a drug that may help improve the lives of those diagnosed with FA. The drug is on the path to clinical trials at the National Institute of Health.
“I’m not just fighting for Jazmyne,” Virgil said. “I’m fighting for all the children and families suffering from this deadly disease. Bringing awareness can help eradicate this disease. But we really need other families to join in this fight and help raise funding.”