Hope Flies for Friends Raises $14,000 for Mitochondrial Disease
February 25, 2014 — Hope Flies for Friends, the second annual fundraiser to honor local Jacksonville area residents Lauren Quinn, Caroline Sacco and Stacy Young and to benefit the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, raised $14,000 and exceeded its goal of $13,000. More than 70 attendees participated in the wine tasting event and enjoyed a beautiful evening at Table One restaurant in Ponte Vedra on Thursday, February 20.
Lauren Quinn is a high school junior and was diagnosed in 2011. Although Lauren has had a lifelong passion for sports, her mitochondrial disease means she no longer has the energy to play sports. More recently, she has developed significant memory issues that have created additional challenges.
Stacy Young is a freshman at University of Central Florida and is majoring in the bio medical field in the hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at age 16 and her issues include fatigue, GI issues, chronic pain, muscle weakness, neuropathy and more. Often, she is unable to perform daily tasks such as eating, attending school, driving, or walking.
Caroline Sacco is nine years old and has experienced health issues from birth. She was born in respiratory arrest and she failed to meet early developmental milestones. By the age of three months, Caroline was undergoing intensive early intervention therapy. Her mitochondrial disease affects many of her body’s systems including her respiratory, muscular, bone, digestion and immune systems among others. She is a happy child and loves her school and classmates.
“We were thrilled to host this event and to help support research funds for mitochondrial disease,” said event organizers Lisha Wise and Phyllis Bove. “Honoring Lauren, Stacy and Caroline was important because mitochondrial disease affects as many as 1 in 2,500 people. A cure for mitochondrial disease can have a positive impact on a wide range of diseases, including Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.”
All proceeds from the event benefited the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine to fund treatment-oriented research and awareness. For more information on mitochondrial disease, please visit the foundation’s website at www.mitochondrialdiseases.org.