I am a runner. I usually run to feel good and reduce stress. However, I want my running and racing to be more than just me; I want to have a purpose. My family has given me that purpose!
My brother was diagnosed with Mito about two years ago. The effect it has had on my family both financially and emotionally is enormous! My family lives in Fredericksburg, VA. My brother and mom have been traveling to different doctors in Ohio for a week at a time almost every month for the past year. This kind of traveling has been very difficult on them as well as my other 5 siblings who still live at home. In the past year, my brother has had two brain surgeries in attempts to fix or alleviate some of his symptoms, requires multiple IV infusions each week to prevent an energy crisis, and gets admitted to the stepdown unit at MCV Hospital in Richmond, VA anytime he gets sick.
In the past 4 months, my youngest sister began showing the same symptoms. She has been unofficially diagnosed with Mito. A muscle biopsy in Atlanta, GA will confirm the diagnosis. The additional strain this will add to my family is indescribable.
When my brother was diagnosed, the geneticists could not confirm if it was just his DNA that caused the disease or if my other siblings could inherit it as well. Before, they believed that it was just him; with my sister's diagnosis, they will have to look harder. I want to use my running to benefit Mito awareness. To do this, I will be running a race - 3.1 miles to 26.2 and everything in between - every month for 1 year to benefit awareness, patient advocacy, and education with MitoAction!