Oliver Scheier was diagnosed with a condition called hypotonia (low muscle tone) at 3 months old. As he got older, Oliver experienced weight loss and muscle weakness which led to physical delays. After many years of doctor appointments, blood work, biopsies, feeding tubes and countless medical tests, Oliver was diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy.
Unfortunately, as Oliver’s family has come to learn, mitochondrial dysfunction comes in many shapes and sizes. In Oliver’s case, his mitochondria are not converting food and oxygen into the energy a four year old needs.
Nevertheless, Oliver continues to strive for and achieve developmental milestones thanks to his amazing personality and happy nature. Anyone lucky enough to meet Oliver would agree that he is a “hilariously delicious” young boy fighting a disease that is fighting him.
To honor Oliver and his continuing battle, his parents established the Oliver Scheier Research Fund. Through the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF), money donated to this fund goes to research in Oliver’s name.
The UMDF was formed by families affected by mitochondrial disease. Like the Scheier family, the UMDF founders wanted to help others affected by the disorder. The Foundation provides support to families and funds research into 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. Every thirty minutes, a child is born who 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 one day will have the resources to help children like Oliver win the battle against mitochondrial disease. Until then, please help the Scheier family and the UMDF bring “Hope. Energy. Life” to everyone affected by mitochondrial disease by donating to the Oliver Scheier Research Fund.