The Tampa Bay Energy for Life Walk Committee is excited and energized to be able to reach out to the community to raise awareness and support those who are fighting mitochondrial disease with UMDF’s Energy for Life Walkathon.
Mitochondria are the cells in the body that change food into oxygen and energy. When mitochondria malfunction, organs fail and people, including children, get sick and even die. The disease is very difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently. Children and adults can have seizures, strokes, severe developmental delays; inability to walk, talk, see, digest food and a host of other complications.
Research tells us that every 30 minutes, a child is born with a mitochondrial disease. In the state of Florida, close to 11,000 people are born each year with mitochondrial disease. There is no cure for mitochondrial disease.
The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) is focused on a “Roadmap to a Cure” that brings together a plan for diagnosis, therapeutic development and patient care. To date, with support from the Energy for Life Walkathon, UMDF has funded nearly $12 million in research aimed at finding treatments and cures.
Mitochondrial disease and dysfunction isn’t just a rare disease. UMDF’s role has grown more urgent with research linking mitochondrial dysfunction with many other diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, and autism. Imagine if we unlock the secrets to prevention and a mitochondrial disease cure! It would truly be a game changer for millions suffering from other major diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
This year’s walkathon will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at R.E. Reynold Park in Oldsmar, FL. The ENERGY FOR LIFE Walkathon will begin with registration at 8:30 am. The walkathon kicks off, rain or shine, at 10:00 am. All proceeds raised from the walk will help the UMDF provide support, education and research towards a cure for mitochondrial disease.