May 19, 2016
This team has been set up on behalf of the Van de Planque Family to help James and so many others affected by Mitochondrial Disease!
Hear Laura's Story:
Laura Stanley became connected to the complex world of mitochondrial disorders when her eldest son was diagnosed with the disease in 2009.
Like so many families Laura has since encountered, her journey to a true diagnosis was one filled with misdiagnoses and an enormous list of doctors, therapists and any other professional who might possibly provide insight to the root of our troubles.
“At one point, I truly thought I was going to have to enroll in medical school because no one could give me the answers my family so desperately needed,” Laura said.
Laura’s connection to mitochondrial disease has many layers. Her other family connections stem from her grandfather who had Parkinson’s, her grandmother who had Alzheimer’s and her mother who had diabetes.
“When I first learned about mitochondrial disease, I didn’t realize that this cellular ‘energy production problem’ could be related, but now I’ve learned that the mitochondria are so connected to a huge list of familiar diseases.” Laura said. “Then, when you include all my friends whose kids have autism or developmental delays, my personal connections just become innumerous.”
The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine has grown significantly since Laura stepped in and set out to re-launch the organization. Over time, she has channeled her passion and energy into professional and personal involvement.
Initially when Laura began volunteering, The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine did not have staff or infrastructure. By January 2010, Laura became, as she fondly says, “Chief, Cook and Bottle Washer.” Laura joined to re-launch the organization and to aggressively move the organization forward on its mission of accelerating the path to treatments and cures for mitochondrial disease.
“Since taking the helm at FMM four years ago,” Laura said, “we have made significant strides in re-launching, rebranding and raising both awareness and funds to put us on a path for more great advancements this year and beyond.”
Laura wants everyone to understand that mitochondrial disease is not at all rare and obscure. It affects every individual differently, and the prevalence rate is likely to continue to rise.
Today, Laura serves as FMM’s Executive Director. Her drive, determination, and enthusiasm continues to inspire all of those striving to find a cure.