Linda Ramsey had a son named Kevin. In the beginning everything was okay, and Kevin grew normally for a short time. After a few months, his experienced difficulty swallowing. He missed developmental milestones. His body lacked the energy it needed for these basic processes. At the age of one, Kevin passed away as a result of complications from a type of mitochondrial disease. Afterwards, Linda began to reach out to others. She sought advocacy with groups like the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF). With the goal of preventing this tragedy from happening to other families, and supporting the families facing similar challenges, Linda began to raise awareness. Her most recent effort will be the Energy for Life Walk on Saturday September 15th. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for more information.
What is Mitochondrial Disease?
The term mitochondrial disease actually refers to a group of disorders. Although the disorders are different, they are caused by genetic mutations and affect the energy-making center of human cells. What complicates and diversifies these conditions, however, is that mitochondria exist in all human cells. This means that mitochondrial disease can affect any system of the body. The brain, muscles, and heart, are some of the most commonly affected.
Symptoms of mitochondrial disease may include poor growth, muscle weakness and a lack of coordination, seizures, and developmental delays. Other common symptoms include problems with hearing or vision, diabetes, and many forms of heart, liver, or kidney disease. Because of the number of body systems which may be affected, symptoms are general and can not be completely categorized.
Energy Walk for Life
The Energy Walk for Life intends to raise funds and awareness for mitochondrial disease. It begins Saturday, September 15th at 1 PM in Cheektowaga Town Park, Harlem Road at George Urban Boulevard (New York). Registration will be available on site at noon or online. The funds go to research to find treatments that help patients combat the disease, according to the UMDF. As of now, however, no cure exists for mitochondrial disease. Linda says that the research is still encouraging. One aspect of it she finds inspirational is that because mitochondrial dysfunction exists in so many other disorders, the research doesn’t just help one group. It also touches the lives of patients with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Linda describes the event as “a wonderful day of support.” It will be a great time to meet others concerned with or touched by the effects of mitochondrial disease. She says that it is also a great opportunity for education even for those who choose not to participate in the walk. Everyone is welcome. Events are set to include a large basket raffle, and live music. Interested parties may register or find more information at energyforlifewalk.org/westernnewyork.