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Wabash Valley Family Raises Awareness for Daughter with Deadly Disease

Mitochondria Disease affects 1 in 2,000 people, including 6 year old Brionna Myers of Terre Haute. Saturday the Myers family will host a 5k to raise awareness for the disease.
Mitochondria are considered the power house of your cells, producing 90 percent of your body's energy. Mitochondria disease strips your body of the energy your organs need to function. The disease attacks each person differently. In Brionna Myer's case it's her heart and lungs.

"Every day is different with Brionna," said her mother, Karen Myers. "One day you could come to my house she is the most happiest playful, loving little girl. The very next day you could come to my house and she can't get out of bed because she's too tired. It takes every bit of her energy to just get up to get something to eat."

The 6-year-old, kindergartner was diagnosed less than a year ago. Since then, her family has raised nearly $12,000 and helped spread awareness of the disease.

"It was the hardest thing for me and my husband to understand and to realize that our daughter has a life-threatening disease that there is no cure for but it's not a rare disease. But we knew we had to raise awareness," said Karen Myers.

Doctors believe some people are misdiagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and other similar diseases. There are just seven doctors across the country that specialize in the disease.

September is Mitochondria Disease Awareness Month. So Saturday Brionna's family is hosting a 5k to help continuing the education of the disease in the Wabash Valley.

"My goal was to have 100 to 150 runners," said Karen Myers. "We knew if we got that many we'd done well. As of today we are at 475 and forms are coming in every single day."

There is no cure, but Karen suggests one tip to help stop the disease.

"Education. Go to your doctor. Ask for your doctor if he knows about Mitochondria Disease," said Karen Myers. "Just educating yourself about the disease. This could be your child. This could be your niece."

The 5K Hope for Brionna is Saturday at Fairbanks Park with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. If you're not a runner there is food and music you can also enjoy.

All funds go to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to help find a cure.

You can find all the details on their Facebook Page by searching "Prayers & Love for Brionna."
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