The Dirt Farmer Foundation’s CAUSE it’s SEPTEMBER: The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation UMDF


The Dirt Farmer Foundation is our way of focusing the social media power of the Dirt Farmer’s community to help worthwhile charities.
Our CAUSE it’s SEPTEMBER or Cause of the Month is
United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation UMDF


Founded in 1996, the UMDF works to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial diseases and to provide support for affected individuals and families. Since its inception, the UMDF has funded nearly $10 million in research, making it the leading non-governmental contributor of grants focused solely on mitochondrial disease. The UMDF, based in Pittsburgh, PA., is a national organization, represented by 65 chapters, groups and ambassadors around the United States and thousands of members who participate in groups and as ambassadors around the world.
Every 30 minutes, a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10, although the actual number of children born with the disease is thought to be much higher. In fact, recent research indicates that one in 200 people harbor a genetic mutation that can lead to mitochondrial disease in them or their offspring. Most patients suffer symptoms for years before they are accurately diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial diseases result from the failure of the mitochondria, which is located in the cells of our bodies. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support growth. When mitochondria fail, less energy is produced causing cell injury or cell death. On a larger scale, organ systems begin to fail. The disease is often debilitating. In some cases, it may result in death. Adult onset is becoming more and more common. There is no cure for mitochondrial disease and it only has few treatment options. 

Each year, 1,000 to 4,000 children in the United states are born with a mitochondrial disease. While exact numbers of children and adults suffering from mitochondrial disease are hard to determine because so many people who suffer from mitochondrial disease are frequently misdiagnosed, we now know the disease is approaching the frequency of childhood cancers. Many are misdiagnosed with atypical cerebral palsy, various seizure disorders, childhood diseases and diseases of aging. Still others aren't diagnosed until after death.
Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week is celebrated globally to educate and increase awareness about mitochondrial disease. It takes place every year during the third week of September. Awareness Week 2014 will be held September 14-20. During this week, affected individuals, their families, friends, co-workers and fellow students join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote outreach and education about mitochondrial disease and the broader impact of mitochondrial dysfunction on human health.
There are many ways you can support the UMDF, you can have an Energy for Life Walkathon where you can show your school spirit and support of a student with mitochondrial disease. Energy for Life Walkathons are designed to be family-friendly events. The routes are designed to be one mile or three miles in length and are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Everyone can participate! … Also you can support the UMDF by joining the Volunteer Program, or Donate in different ways: General Donation, Donate to a Research Fund or Donate to an Event


UMDF Support Line 1-888-317-8633

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