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Local Energy for Life Walk to Raise Awareness of Mitochondrial Disease

Human skin cells under an ultraviolet light (flickr, GE Healthcare)

We’ve all had days where we feel a bit run down for whatever reason. A long day at work, not enough sleep, stress, kids, whatever. For people suffering from Mitochondrial disease, it’s a feeling they suffer through every day with consequences that can be life threatening.

Mitochondria are naturally present in our cells and are often referred to as the “cell’s powerhouse” combining oxygen from the air we breathe with calories from the food we eat to produce 90% of the energy our bodies need to sustain life. According to a fact sheet provided by the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, the illness results when there is a defect in the mitochondria that prevents them from doing their job. This results in cell death causing other parts of the body to pick up the slack. This can cause the brain to become impaired, vision to dim, and muscles (including the heart) may become too weak to function properly which can result in the life of the individual to change, become comprised, or in some cases, end altogether.

Mitochondrial disease can affect any organ in the body at any age and there are currently no known treatments or cures.

Over the years, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has awarded over $6 million in grants to the most promising researchers which has led to important discoveries such as the revelation of a direct cause and effect relationship between mitochondrial disease and many common age-related illnesses such as heart disease.

These donations are made possible by events throughout the country like the upcoming Energy for Life Walk at Burdette Park on May 5th. Visit our events calendar for more information on how you can participate along with contact information if you or someone you know has a business that would like to be involved as a sponsor.

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