Family Motocross Rally To Benefit Mitochondrial Disease

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The 2nd annual “Payton’s Race for a Cure” to support mitochondrial disease will kick-off this Saturday, September 25, 2010. The day includes a motocross event, carnival, charity prize drawing and live music. Proceeds benefit and the UMDF.

Mitochondrial Disease Action Committee
Little things we take for granted are huge hurdles for Payton

Payton DeWitt is 5 years old and suffers from mitochondrial disease. Her mother Michelle says she will never forget when Payton first began showing symptoms at just three weeks old. “I began to feel as if the life I knew was about to change drastically. I discovered that mitochondrial disease is a relatively new disease and that research on its cause and treatment is limited due to a lack of awareness and funding.”

The mitochondria act as the “powerhouse” of the cell to produce energy for the body to live. Mitochondrial disease is an energy metabolism disorder that affects babies, children, and adults of all ages, races, and gender. Experts agree that at least 1 in 4000 individuals have mitochondrial disease; however, "Mito" may be under-diagnosed until improvements in diagnosis and awareness occur.

Symptoms of “Mito” vary in type and severity, and commonly include muscle weakness, fatigue, seizures, gastrointestinal dysfunction, developmental delay, vision and hearing loss, and organ failure. Today there is no cure for mitochondrial disease; treatment is focused on energy conservation and vitamin therapy. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been related to other diseases including autism, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

“Little things we take for granted are huge hurdles for Payton. However, as a family, we have decided not to dwell on the negative aspects of this disease, but rather work to help Payton live her life to the absolute fullest,” says Michelle.

Participants can find registration details, make a donation and learn more about the motocross event at The event takes place at the end of mitochondrial disease awareness week.

Payton’s Race for a Cure is sponsored by Saranac Foods, Audiomasters, S. Abraham & Sons, Caledonia Rent-All, Sparrow Graphics, and B.C. Pizza.

MitoAction is a 501(c)3 charity formally incorporated in 2005 to provide programs and resources centered on support, education, and advocacy for patients and families affected by mitochondrial disease.

Learn more, show your support and request your green awareness ribbon and your free awareness kit at


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Cristy Balcells

Michelle DeWitt
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