Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

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Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Sixth Annual Walk for Abby Fundraiser – Saturday, April 23, 2016

Walk for Abby, the sixth annual fundraiser inspired by local Broad Brook resident Abby Sauerhoefer, will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 10 am at East Windsor Park, 27 Reservoir Street in Broad Brook.

Abbys-Helping-Hand-Logo1Abby, age 8, is the daughter of Carol and Joseph Sauerhoefer and has mitochondrial disease. This is the sixth annual walk in her honor, and the event has raised over $200,000 since its inception in 2011.

Cost to participate is $20 per adult and $10 for students and kids age 12 and under. Walkers may either register in advance at www.abbyshelpinghand.com or register beginning at 8:30 am on the day of the event.

In addition to the walk, the family-oriented event will also feature a raffle of fun prizes, children’s activities, a DJ, refreshments and more. All proceeds from the event will benefit Abby’s Helping Hand and provide assistance to those with mitochondrial diseases and other chronic disease through support, education and research.

Research funds will go to the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. For more information on mitochondrial disease, please visit the foundation’s website at www.mitochondrialdiseases.org.

Abby’s Story: 
Eight year old Abby Sauerhoefer attends Broad Brook Elementary. Abby has struggled with breathing and feeding issues from birth. Immediately following birth, Abby was admitted to the NICU for pneumonia.  She had difficulty feeding and maintaining normal body temperature.  After one week she was discharged and welcomed home.  By two Abby - Walk for Abby 2014months, we knew something was terribly wrong when she started having frequent, uncontrolled movements of her arms and legs. We learned that these episodes were infantile spasms or seizures. Throughout her first two years of life she was tested for multiple neurological diseases.  Extensive testing and treatments led to a diagnosis in July 2009 of a mitochondrial disorder. Along with daily seizures, this disorder does not allow her to walk, speak, or sit up, and her only means of nourishment is through a feeding tube. Seizures are managed, but not completely eliminated, with medication and diet. Although Abby is not able to talk, she expresses her emotions through “Abby songs”. She loves music and enjoys the company of other children. She moves around by rolling or using a wheelchair.

Abby attends school every day where she receives physical and occupational therapy.  She splits her day with her third grade friends and pre-K activities such as coloring and painting with assistance from her nurse, ‘Miss Laura’.  Abby has many friends who read to her and help her through her day.  She is often invited to birthday parties and attends as many community events as possible.

 

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Walk for Abby Celebrated it’s 5th Year with a BANG!

Walk for Abby raises almost $200,000 in 5 Years!

20150425_091532On Saturday, April 25th, more than 580 walkers, volunteers and supporters gathered for the 5th Annual Walk for Abby in Broad Brook, CT.  Walk for Abby was founded by the Sauerhoefer Family and the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine.  As of 2014, Abby’s Helping Hand, a non-profit working to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with mitochondrial and other chronic diseases, is the official host for this family, fun-filled day to raise awareness for mitochondrial disease and other chronic diseases.

Walk for Abby

FMM Executive Director, Laura Stanley, with Carol and Abby Sauerhoefer

A special thanks to Elizabeth Granolati for being the event’s photographer, to everyone who donated non-perishable items and to the over 580 walkers present at this year’s event.  Because of this community’s continued support, Walk for Abby raised over $45,000 this year and has raised almost $200,000 since it began five years ago.

Mark your calendars for next year’s Walk for Abby – Saturday, April 23, 2016!

Abby’s Story (From Abby’s Helping Hand Website):
Seven year old Abby Sauerhoefer attends Broad Brook Elementary. Abby has struggled with breathing and feeding issues from birth. Immediately following birth, Abby was admitted to the NICU for pneumonia.  She had difficulty feeding and maintaining normal body temperature.  After one week she was discharged and welcomed home.  By two months, we knew something was terribly wrong when she started having frequent, uncontrolled movements of her arms and legs. We learned that these episodes were infantile spasms or seizures. Throughout her first two years of life she was tested for multiple neurological diseases.  Extensive testing and treatments led to a diagnosis in July 2009 of a mitochondrial disorder. Along with daily seizures, this disorder does not allow her to walk, speak, or sit up, and her only means of nourishment is through a feeding tube. Seizures are managed, but not completely eliminated, with medication and diet. Although Abby is not able to talk, she expresses her emotions through “Abby songs”. She loves music and enjoys the company of other children. She moves around by rolling or using a wheelchair.

Abby attends school every day where she receives physical and occupational therapy.  She splits her day with her second grade friends and pre-K activities such as coloring and painting with assistance from her nurse, ‘Miss Laura’.  Abby has many friends who read to her and help her through her day.  She is often invited to birthday parties and attends as many community events as possible.

 

Another Year Full of Memories – Walk for Abby

 

Walk for Abby Crowd 2014

We now know how to do the Walk for Abby in the rain!!  The sun may not have been shining outside, but the sea of bright yellow t-shirts and happy faces made it shine inside!  We had just over 500 individual walk registrations and the gym of the Broad Brook Elementary School was certainly full!  Walkers came from Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona, and of course Georgia.

Abby - Walk for Abby 2014With over 60 corporate sponsors and over 40 raffle items, this year’s Walk for Abby raised over $42,000! We once again had an anonymous matching donor who matched $2,600 worth of donations that were collected in less than 2 hours.  Ann Baldwin, from Baldwin Media was our Master of Ceremony and she certainly got the crowd jazzed up along with great music from Image DJ.  After the walk everyone enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs.

Walk for Abby is the first major event for Abby’s Helping Hand that was formed to not only support the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, but also support special needs children and those afflicted with various forms of mitochondrial disease in and around the East Windsor community.  We continue to be inspired by the overwhelming support of our amazing community and are always happy to be a small part of the continued efforts to find cures and treatments for mitochondrial disease.

Welcome Molly Auretta to FMM’s Firefly Friends!

 

Molly with her cousin, Abby, and Laura Stanley from FMM.

Molly with her cousin, Abby, and Laura Stanley from FMM.

On February 3, Molly Auretta of Broad Brook, CT, was named the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine’s newest Firefly Friend.  Molly is a sophomore at Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield, CT.  Molly’s connection to mitochondrial disease stems from her young cousin, Abby Sauerhoefer.

As a way to spread awareness of this disease and its impacts on her family and others, Molly chose mitochondrial disease as a topic for her “Academic Personal Project,” a requirement for the IB program at her school.  Molly wrote a research paper, made a presentation to over 100 sophomores at her school to educate and inform her schoolmates and launched a fundraising project where she sold awareness t-shirts which benefited the FMM.

Molly’s cousin, Abby, lives next door to her and is the honoree of the annual Hope Flies Walk for Abby, in Broad Brook, CT every April.  Molly plays soccer, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and her future interests lie in culinary arts—she is also a philanthropist!  The Foundation sends many thanks to Molly for her enthusiasm and initiative.

Help Molly and other Firefly Friends fund the cures for Mitochondrial Disease!

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 Do you know a dynamic teenager making a difference and raising awareness for mitochondrial disease?  Click here to learn more and nominate someone to be a Firefly Friend.  

Fourth Annual 5K Walk for Abby benefiting the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

AbbyJoin the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine for the fourth annual 5K “Walk for Abby: In Honor of Abby Sauerhoefer” on Saturday, April 26. This fun, family-friendly walk will help support special needs children as well as children and elderly afflicted with various forms of mitochondrial disease such as Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

abby-walk

The event will include a three-mile walk (Main Street, Depot Street, Perry Lane and Reservoir Avenue), a raffle, face painting, DJ, and refreshments.

Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children. All proceeds benefit Abby’s Helping Hand Foundation and the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. For more information, or to register, visit: www.AbbysHelpingHand.com

How Walk for Abby Started:
In July of 2009, Abby’s parents took her to Atlanta for her yearly visit with Dr. Schoffner.   On their way home after the appointment and hear heart-breaking news about other families, The Sauerhoefer Family felt they needed to do more to help in the mission to find a cure this debilitating disease.

After meeting with the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, the idea of a walk was born.  The foundation helped to design paraphernalia and a website and brainstormed on networking ideas.  Team Abby set what they thought was a lofty goal of $10,000.  That first year, Walk for Abby raised $45,000.  In total, Walk for Abby has raised over $130,000 to benefit the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine.

Can’t make it to the walk, but still want to support Abby? You can still donate by clicking the button below.

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Vernon Center Middle School Hosts Hat Day to Honor Abby and Fund Research for Mitochondrial Disease

Students at Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon, CT are hosting a Hat Day in Honor of Abby on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Hat Day Fundraiser at Vernon Center Middle School

Hat Day Fundraiser at Vernon Center Middle School

In 2013, Ms. Kate Barber’s 7th grade Language Arts classes at Vernon Center Middle School were recently able to spend time with Abby Sauerhoefer, who suffers from Mitochondrial Disease. They have enjoyed taking turns reading to Abby during her visits. After learning about mitochondrial disease, VCMS students decided to hold a Hat Day fundraiser and were able to raise over $600 to donate to the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine.  Furthermore, these students are now reading about the challenges of integrating students, of many abilities, into the classroom.

Let’s help them exceed last year’s fundraising amount and continue to raise awareness for mitochondrial disease.   Participate locally at VCMS or online by making a donation to The Abby Sauerhoefer Fund for Mitochondrial Disease Research.  When making an online donation, write “Hat Day for Abby” in the comment box.

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Hat Day Fundraiser for Abby

VCMS student reading to Abby

Abby Sauerhoefer, daughter of Carol and Joe Sauerhoefer, has struggled with breathing and feeding issues from birth. By two months, we knew something was terribly wrong when she started having frequent, uncontrolled movements of her arms and legs. We learned that these episodes were infantile spasms or seizures. Extensive testing and treatments led to a diagnosis in July 2009 of a mitochondrial disorder. Along with daily seizures, this disorder does not allow her to walk, speak, or sit up, and her only means of nourishment is through a feeding tube. Seizures are managed, but not completely eliminated, with medication and diet. Although Abby is not able to talk, she expresses her emotions through “Abby songs”. She loves music and enjoys the company of other children. She moves around by rolling or using a stroller. We are hopeful that the foundation will find new treatments to help Abby and appreciate your support in finding a cure!

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Hope Flies – Walk for Abby Raises $50,000

Hope Flies – Walk for Abby, the third annual 3 mile walk and fundraiser to honor local Broad Brook resident Abby Sauerhoefer and the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, was held Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Broad Brook Elementary School and raised $50,000 for the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. Abby, age 5, is the daughter of Carol and Joseph Sauerhoefer and suffers from mitochondrial disease.

The Sauerhoefer family raised money through both registrations for the walk and through corporate and individual sponsorships from the local community.

“We are so thrilled that the community supports our event each year,” said organizer Carol Sauerhoefer. “We’re glad to do our part to raise awareness and raise important funds for research for treatments of mitochondrial disease.”

Examples of heartwarming community support include 7th-grade students at Vernon Center Middle School. After reading to Abby for an afternoon, the students held a Hat Day fundraiser at their school and raised more than $600 to donate to the Foundation. Additionally, local Girl Scout Troop donated a portion of proceeds from their cookie sales to the effort.

The event included a 3-mile walk, a raffle of fun prizes, face painting, entertainment and refreshments. Event “Angel” sponsors included Southern Auto Sales Inc., The Littlest Bake Shoppe, Peerless Tool & Machine Company, New York Yankees, Atlas Copco Compressors and Drs. Whiteley & Daslia, D.M.D., LLC. Local television meteorologist Joe Furey of FOX Connecticut TV served as emcee for the event.

“The Foundation is grateful for the commitment and energy the Sauerhoefer family gives to the Hope Flies – Walk for Abby each year,” said Laura Stanley, executive director for the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. “We rely on fundraisers like these to help make mitochondrial disease more of a household name and to direct funds for treatment-oriented research.”

All proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. For more information on mitochondrial disease and the relationship of mitochondrial dysfunction with many common diseases, like Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s and more, please visit the foundation’s website at www.mitchondrialdiseasesorg.

Walk for Abby – Raising Money for Awareness and Helping Other Families

Check out the Hope Flies: Walk for Abby Facebook Page

Registration for 2013 Walk for Abby

Abby’s Story

Five year old Abby Sauerhoefer attends Kindergarten at Broad Brook Elementary. Abby has struggled with breathing and feeding issues from birth. By two months, we knew something was terribly wrong when she started having frequent, uncontrolled movements of her arms and legs. We learned that these episodes were infantile spasms or seizures. Extensive testing and treatments led to a diagnosis in July 2009 of a mitochondrial disorder. Along with daily seizures, this disorder does not allow her to walk, speak, or sit up, and her only means of nourishment is through a feeding tube. Seizures are managed, but not completely eliminated, with medication and diet. Although Abby is not able to talk, she expresses her emotions through “Abby songs”. She loves music and enjoys the company of other children. She moves around by rolling or using a stroller. We are hopeful that the foundation will find new treatments to help Abby and appreciate your support in finding a cure!

Event Details

Date:
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Location:
Broad Brook Elementary School, 14 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT

Event Page (for more information on the 2013 Walk for Abby)

Schedule of Events:

Hope Flies: Walk for Abby8:30 am Registration Opens
10:00 am Walk Begins
The event will include a three mile walk around Main Street, Depot Street, Perry Lane and Reservoir Avenue. Please join us after the walk for entertainment, face painting, raffle drawing and refreshments.

Third Annual Hope Flies Walk for Abby

The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine is pleased to announce its Third Annual Hope Flies Walk for Abby on Saturday, April 27, 2013. All proceeds from the event will support the development of research and treatments for the many forms of mitochondrial disease. We look forward to seeing you for this fun, family-friendly event.

Questions or Additional Information

Carol Sauerhoefer at walkforabby@gmail.com or call 860-627-5119.

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