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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mitochondrial Disease



Sharon Pfohl





Mitochondrial Disease primarily affects children but can strike adults also. Approximately 1 in 4,000 children will be born with this disease and another 1,000 to 4,000 will develop it by age 10. There are many forms of this genetic disease and can be inherited by one person in a family or several over the course of years or even generations. This short article can't cover them all so for more detailed information, please visit United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation or mito Action. "Diseases of the mitochondria appear to cause the most damage to cells of the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems", according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

The mitochondria are very powerful and are found in almost every cell of our bodies. They are responsible for over 90% of the energy of a cell needed for life and growth. When they fail to do their job, there will be injury to the cell or even the death of a cell. If this continues throughout the body, whole systems can break down, putting the person's life in danger. Please click here for an extensive list of symptoms of Mitochondrial Disease by the affected organ.




My cousin's grandson, Parker, is a sweet 5-year-old boy who has been in and out of the hospital in the past year and a half. He has a mitochondrial disease and uses a specialized stroller to get around. He is blessed to have a strong mother and loving siblings who are always ready to help him. His father, an active duty marine, is frequently away fighting for our country. He can't always be there physically for his son but when he is home, it is hard to separate them.

If you want to help, click on Parker's Pals to make a donation or to join a walk in your area. Last year, Parker's Camp Lejeune, NC school surprised him by walking around the school holding signs and cheering to raise awareness, money, and to give Parker their support. It started with an email from my cousin, inviting his teacher to join the Indiana walk. Unable to go, she wanted to show her support and soon the entire school had joined in. I can't think of a better way to say thank Parker's father for his service (4 tours) to this country than by supporting this cause.


BIO: I am a grandmother who loves God and my family. I have a variety of interests that constantly flow through my head and out of my fingers. I frequently write about things that affect myself or a loved one. I am currently writing a blog, Life Over 50, or you can "like" my facebook page, Sharon Says.

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