2013 UMDF Energy For Life Walk Poised to Be Largest in the Country

In its fourth year, the Energy For Life Walkathon will be held, rain or shine, in Freedom Park on Saturday, October 12.
Energy for Life Walkathon
Energy for Life Walkathon
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* Mitochondrial Disease
* Mito
* Walk
* Fundraiser
* Healthcare

* Health
* Non-profit

* Charlotte - North Carolina - US

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Oct. 7, 2013 - PRLog -- Funds raised through the walk will be used by the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families. Corporate sponsors for the event include Austin Canvas and Awning, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Domtar, Lalilab, and Texas Roadhouse of Matthews.

Early indications are that the Charlotte walk will be the largest of the 22 walkathons that the UMDF will have held throughout the United States this year. “Our toughest competition for the highest fundraising total is the Atlanta walk,” said event co-chair, Christy Koury, “It brought in almost $80,000 in April. Based on what this event has done in the past, I believe the Charlotte event can exceed that amount. We have amazing support in this community.”

The walk will feature three route options ranging from 1 mile to 5K and will include live performance by Nashville country recording artists from Charlotte, N.C. - GalFriday. In addition to educational information about the disease and storyboards about regional patients along the walk path, there will be visiting medical specialists available to answer questions. Registration will begin at 8:30am, and the walk will begin at 10:00am.

There is no registration fee. To participate, volunteer, or for more information, please visit http://www.energyforlifewalk.org/charlotte or email events@umdf.org.

Local entities donating services to the 2013 UMDF Energy For Life Walk include Patti Mercer of international pageantry and autism advocacy fame as emcee, Jorge Espinosa-Cruz of TC Recording Studio and Aria Electric Music as audio engineer, Joe Martin of Joe Martin Photography as photographer, and Joe O'Brien, Sr. of BackRoads Media, LLC as videographer.

Commonly known as the powerhouses of cells, tiny mitochondria generate more than 90% of the energy the human body needs to sustain life and to support growth. When mitochondria are diseased, they produce insufficient energy, thereby causing cellular injury and cellular death. As this process is replicated, entire organ systems fail, leading to illness that ranges from sporadic and mild, to progressively debilitating and catastrophic. Most patients suffer symptoms for years before they are accurately diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, with many not receiving their diagnoses until well into adulthood. With research indicating that one in 200 people harbors a genetic mutation that can lead to mitochondrial disease in them or their offspring, the condition is not rare. In fact, at least once every 30 minutes, a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to ALS, Alzheimer’s, autism, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and many forms of cancer. For this reason, advances in mitochondrial disease medicine have a positive ripple effect on all these other conditions. There is currently no cure for mitochondrial disease.

Founded in 1996, the 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 by 65 chapters, groups and ambassadors around the United States and thousands of members who participate around the world. For more information about mitochondrial disease or the UMDF, visit http://www.umdf.org.
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