March 15, 2012
ATLANTA (from Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine) – The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets baseball team has partnered with the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine for the first Hope Flies Home Run Challenge, inspired by Jackets baseball player Colby Wren.
For every home run the Jackets hit during the 2012 season, supporters can make a donation from $1 up to $100 or more per home run with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation. The Jackets hit 50 home runs during the 2011 season, and organizers hope to raise $50,000 for the cause through the Hope Flies Home Run Challenge.
Wren, a sophomore first baseman with the Jackets, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease in his early teens and has to manage the disease’s effects on his health every day. As an ambassador for the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, he is eager to raise awareness of the disease, so that the increasingly numbers of diagnosed individuals — 1 in 2,500 and growing — can get treatments. Currently, there are no treatments available.
Mitochondrial disease is an energy production problem that primarily affects the muscular and neurological systems. Mitochondrial are the “power plants” that produce the body’s essential energy and when they don’t function properly, the body can have a “power failure.” There is a graduation of affects – ranging anywhere from a “brown out” to a fatal “black out” – and no two people diagnosed with mitochondrial disease have the exact same symptoms. Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the crux of many common diseases including Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and chronic fatigue, and research and treatments for mitochondrial disease could help in treatments for these other diseases.
Individuals can donate $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100 per home run. Corporate partners can participate through one of four sponsorship levels: Single sponsors donate $2,500; Double sponsors donate $5,000; Triple sponsors donate $10,000 and Grand Slam sponsors donate $25,000. Various sponsorship benefits accompany each level.
“We believe that Colby’s passion to educate others about mitochondrial disease and the importance of finding a cure can translate into significant funds raised,” said Laura Stanley, executive director for the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. “The Hope Flies Home Run Challenge is a fun way to get involved, support a great college baseball program and help the team hit one out of the park to beat mitochondrial disease.”
“I’m happy that Jackets baseball is involved with the fundraiser,” said Colby Wren. “Our team is an extended family to me and it’s great to know they are supporting the fight against mitochondrial disease.”
To find out more about the Hope Flies Home Run Challenge and to make a donation online, click here.
About the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine
The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the development of the most promising research and treatments of the many forms of mitochondrial disease. Visit www.mitochondrialdiseases.org for more information.