Peter Kay, a British comedian and actor, organised a screening of four episodes of his hit TV series Car Share in order to raise awareness and donations for a charity that supports children diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, reports the Manchester Evening News. This event has proven so popular that it sold out within minutes, and two extra screenings have been released to cope with demand.
This is the actor’s first return to social media after he cancelled his tour for family reasons several months ago. He says that he has “first hand experience” of the Lily Foundation’s work, and he is proud to be able to help them.
Mitochondrial disease is a lifelong, inherited genetic disorder that prevents mitochondria from producing energy. Since mitochondria are part of every cell, the disease has the potential to affect any region in the body. This means that its symptoms are varied and often difficult to diagnose. The most common markers of the disease include seizures, poor growth, heart and lung disease, neurological issues, learning disabilities, and muscle weakness. Although the disease can affect both children and adults, the Lily Foundation mainly works to improve the lives of children.
A woman called Liz Curtis created the Foundation in 2007 in memory of Lily, her daughter. Lily was born with a mitochondrial disease and died at only eight months old. The lack of specialist doctors and available support for her and her daughter led her to rely on friends and family for advice and support. Eventually this expanded to become a national charity. Since then, it has invested over one million pounds (1.4 million US dollars) into research, supported countless families, and developed a new diagnostic technique for the disease. The charity’s website also provides accessible advice for families with mitochondrial disease, including information about the disease, the medical support available, and government benefits that people may be entitled to.