“We had wonderful participation from walkers and sponsors, raising money and awareness of mitochondrial disease,” said Christy Koury, the event co-chair. “We set an ambitious goal in 2012; unfortunately, we fell short of that goal. We look forward to growing the event in 2013.”
First time sponsor, Signature Consultants, joined returning sponsors Austin Canvas and Awning, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Domtar, and Lalilab. The UMDF uses funds raised at the walkathons for mitochondrial disease research, family support and awareness.
“When we walk together, people in communities like Charlotte discover that mitochondrial disease affects people they know,” says Charles A. Mohan, Jr., CEO/Executive Director of the UMDF who attended the 2012 event. “So it’s fitting that we join together in a quest to find a cure.”
The Charlotte Chapter of the UMDF plans a fourth annual event in 2013, though no date or location has been set.
ABOUT MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE
Every 30 minutes, a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10, although the actual number of children born with the disease is thought to be much higher. More and more adults are being diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease. Recent research indicates that one in 200 people harbors a genetic mutation that can lead to mitochondrial disease in them or their offspring. Most patients suffer symptoms for years before they are accurately diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial diseases result from the failure of the mitochondria, which are located in the cells of our bodies. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support growth. When mitochondria fail, less energy is produced causing cell injury or cell death. On a larger scale, organ systems begin to fail. The disease is often debilitating. In some cases, it may result in death. Adult onset is becoming more and more common. There is no cure for mitochondrial disease.
ABOUT THE UNITED MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE FOUNDATION
Founded in 1996, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) works to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial diseases and to provide support for affected individuals and families. Since its inception, the UMDF has funded nearly $10 million in research, making it the leading non-governmental contributor of grants focused solely on mitochondrial disease. The UMDF, based in Pittsburgh, PA, is a national organization, represented around the world by thousands of members. For more information about mitochondrial disease or the UMDF, visit http://www.umdf.org.