Rachel Kindbom is a teenager who bravely deals with obstacles some of us will never have to confront. When she was in first grade, Rachel was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease, affecting her hearing, sight, balance, muscle tone and cognitive capabilities. Siner her diagnosis in 1998, this disease had gradually made long walks and climbing stairs very difficult; eventually, it robbed her of her ability to ride a bike, swim a lap or hope to be independent.
To honor Rachel and her continuing battle, the Kindbom family of Medford, New Jersey established the Angelray Research Fund. Through the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF), money donated to this fund goes to research in Rachel’s name.
The UMDF was formed by families affected by mitochondrial disease. Like the Kindbom family, the UMDF founders wanted to help others affected by the disorder. The Foundation provides support to families and funds medical research for mitochondrial disease.
Mitochondria produce more than 90 percent of the body’s energy. When these tiny parts of the cell can’t do their job, the body doesn’t get the energy it needs, resulting in a wide range of debilitating and sometimes fatal symptoms. Each year, up to one in 2,000 children will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10. Most of these affected children will not survive beyond their teenage years.
Through research, the medical world will one day have the resources to help children like Rachel win the battle against mitochondrial disease. Until then, please help the Welhouse family and the UMDF “redefine hope” for everyone affected by mitochondrial disease through a donation to the Angelray Research Fund.