Christopher Joseph Schindler lost his battle with mitochondrial disease on October 29, 2004. This debilitating disease eventually caused, in his case, heart failure. Those that knew his daily routine will truly understand when we talk about his inspiration to us all. This you man, all of 11 years of age, had the mind of a professor. He never once complained about the medical issues that he had to deal with on a daily basis. Chris’s shining light to all of us – his special gift – was that he loved everyone. He loved to meet and visit with new people, and lived life to its fullest.
To honor Christopher’s life, the Schindler family of Houston, Texas established the Christopher Schindler Research Fund. Through the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF), money donated to this fund goes to research in Christopher’s name.
The UMDF was formed by families affected by mitochondrial disease. Like the Schindler 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. Up to one in 2,000 children born each year 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 Christopher win the battle against mitochondrial disease. Until then, please help the Schindler family and the UMDF “redefine hope” for everyone affected by mitochondrial disease by donating to the Christopher Schindler Research Fund.