Every 30 minutes a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by the age of 10.
Mitochondrial disease affects a person’s ability to produce energy and causes a variety of symptoms, some of which can be fatal. To promote research and education for a cure, the entire month of September is devoted to raising awareness for this serious, and sometimes deadly disease.
"Usually one in every 4,000 children can be affected with mitochondrial disease, so it’s pretty staggering, clinical trials are hard to do due to even a family that’s affected, they all could have different symptoms with the exact diagnosis," said Jody Thompson, Ambassador for The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.
Thompson’s daughter Baylee was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at just 9 months old, she’s now 15. Baylee has never walked nor talked, but her mom said she continues to stay strong and wakes up every morning with a smile on her face.
"This Friday is our big football game, Crooksville versus New Lex, huge rivalry in Perry County, Baylee will take to the field, the guys on both sides are wearing green socks in honor of her, as well as, stickers on their helmets, we’re selling shirts, passing out literature for that night," Thompson said.
Also as part of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Month, there will be a "mito" volleyball game on September 29 at Crooksville High School. To learn more about the disease, visit umdf.org.