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Hannah's "Tear" Mitzvah Project
Awareness and testing for FD and other Jewish genetic diseases

Hannah A Girl with a Mission
Hannah Bress is a 12 year-old girl with a mission: she wants everyone to know about, and protect themselves from, Jewish genetic diseases.
Hannah organized an educational presentation and a genetic screening event in her community on March 14th, 2010 at Harford Jewish Center in Havre de Grace, MD. The event was a huge success, drawing nearly one hundred attendees and providing screening for 60 people.

Hannah Explains Her Project
For my Bat Mitzvah project, I chose to raise awareness for familial dysautonomia (FD) and 10 other devastating Jewish genetic diseases (JGDs) that appear at birth. In memory of my sister, Jamie, I wanted to make a difference by helping families prevent suffering similar to what Jamie and my parents experienced. One symptom of FD is the absence of tears, so I named my Mitzvah project “TEAR” for Testing, Education & Awareness of Recessive Jewish genetic diseases.

Pictured at right are my mom and my sister, Jamie Bress, who died in 1996 at 5 years of age from FD complications.


award  presentation
Hannah receiving award from Dysautonomia Foundation             The attendees listen to a presentation on FD and Jewish genetic Diseases

We are grateful to everyone who attended the event. If you or someone you know wants to organize a similar mitzvah project or community awareness event, please contact the Dysautonomia Foundation at info@famdys.org. Everyone can help raise awareness by telling friends and family about testing for FD and other Jewish genetic diseases, and by sending them a link to our video on FD genetic screening.

The Dysautonomia Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

 Dysautonomia Foundation, Inc.
 315 West 39th Street, Suite 701
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-279-1066
Email: info@familialdysautonomia.org
 Web: www.familialdysautonomia.org

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