Betting on Baylee

by Audry Kensicki on March 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

You may never have heard of mitochondrial disease, but every 30 minutes a child is born with the illness.

For six years Jody Thompson along with help from the community have put on the Bet on Baylee event in honor of her daughter, a nine-year old who suffers from the disease.

"The mitochondria are part of the cell that create energy from the food that you eat," said Melinda O’Toole of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. "Children and adults with the disease, something in that process doesn’t work right. It affects anything that you use energy for, muscles, heart, vision, the brain can all be affected by mitochondrial disease."

Baylee’s mother said the disease has kept her daughter from ever speaking or walking, but she is hopeful for a cure.

"he’s very happy, only cries when there’s something going on," said Baylee’s mother Jody Thompson. "She waves and she loves to eat and music is a passion of hers. She has the biggest brown eyes and she doesn’t need to say a word because she speaks through them."

"She’s just a wonderful child," said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. "Like Jody said, she’s always happy and loves to have fun. It’s just a shame that we have something like this that affects children like that. Anything we can do to help her, we try to do that for our community and one day, hopefully they’ll find a cure for it."

This is the sixth year for the event which has raised $40,000 in years past. The money raised from the event will go the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to help fund research and find a cure for the disease.