The Mito Foundation Awards 2018

The Mito Foundation is fortunate to work with incredible individuals who go the extra mile to support people with mito. Each year we recognise some of those whose exceptional efforts have had a significant impact on the mito community.

Congratulations to the following:

Mito Foundation Chairman’s Award – Christina Liang

Dr Christina Liang is a neurologist working with the NeuroGenetics team at Royal North Shore Hospital. Christina has been an invaluable support to many members of the mito community through both their diagnosis and ongoing management of their mito. Christina has also been a vital resource to the Mito Foundation, generously giving her time to speak at events and assist with the development of patient resources.

Mito Foundation CEO’s Award – Ross Wall

Ross Wall has been involved with the Mito Foundation for nearly a decade. His brilliant ideas have been instrumental in the foundation’s ability to fund vital support, research, education and advocacy programs. Ross was fundamentally involved in the development and success of both Stay in Bed Day and The Bloody Long Walk.

Mito Foundation Advocacy Award – Shelley Beverley

Shelley offered to do anything she could to help the Foundation’s initiative to change legislation to allow Australian families to access mitochondrial donation. She visited her local MP, spoke to the media, and shared her personal story with senators during the Senate Hearing.

Mito Foundation Community Spirit Award – Tamara Robins and Fiona Elmer

Tamara and Fiona have organised awareness and fundraising event Dream to Be in Perth for a number of years. Children and adults are photographed against a green screen and then superimposed on fun superhero backgrounds. Dream to Be is just one of the many things that Tamara and Fiona do in support of their amazing sons, Noah and Aidan, who both have mito.

Mito Foundation Awareness Award – Bec Patterson

Bec is committed to raising as much awareness about mito as she possibly can. She has secured the support of seven local businesses in Stay in Bed Day, lead teams in The Bloody Long Walk Brisbane and was involved with the Burdekin Water Festival. She has joined forces with Alice Gibson and Luka Wild, founders of Mito Merch to launch a fabulous new range of mito themed pyjamas. The tag line on Bec’s Facebook page, Girl with the Green Bow, sums her up perfectly – a determined, strong woman with a wicked sense of humour: mito picked the wrong diva!

Mito Foundation Mito Community Appreciation Award – Tara Collyer

Tara has been an invaluable support to many members of the mito community. Not only is she willing to speak to members of the community through the Mito Foundation Support Network, she has helped organise and lead the first Brisbane Support Group. Her kindness and generosity has touched many members of the mito community.

Mito Foundation Youth Award – Erin Taprell

At 14 years old, Erin was one of the youngest participants of The Bloody Long Walk Brisbane. She walked with her dad, Warren, and an amazing team of friends and family in memory of her precious baby brother. Dion lost his battle with mito aged just three years old. Over the years she has raised funds and awareness of mito with her local community.

Mito Foundation School Community Award – Montessori Works

Children at Montessori Works childcare and preschool are used to seeing their educators in their pyjamas. The centre, which has three locations, has held five Stay in Bed Days in recent years. The children always enjoy the day, especially story time where they sit with their teddy bears and are read A Little Book About Mito. At each event, parents generously donate to the Foundation.

Mito Foundation Volunteer Award – Haydn Quirk

Haydn filled the role of Chair of the Mito Community Advisory Committee for the first two years of its existence. Since its inception in 2016, the Mito Community Advisory Committee has guided the Foundation in many of its decisions regarding patient support and activities. Haydn has been an exceptional leader of the group.

Mito Foundation Support Award – Vicki Hardie

Vicki has been instrumental in the ongoing success of the Adelaide mito community support group. The Adelaide group is the largest and longest running support group in the Australian mito community. Vicki’s hard work and commitment have ensured that the Adelaide community are well supported and connected.

Mito Foundation Inspiration Award – Kat Barlow

Kat is a whirlwind of activity. Like any mother whose child has mito, she will do anything to find a cure for him. Kat’s son Noah is this year’s Bloody Long Walk ambassador. They have gone above and beyond our expectations in sharing their story and encouraging fundraising efforts, through videos and photos. Kat supports other parents in similar situations and refuses to say ‘I can’t do that’ – she does everything she can to fulfil Noah’s dreams.

Mito Foundation Community Fundraising Award – Haesley Cush, Matt Lancashire, Karla Lynch and the Ray White team

The team at Raywhite New Farm have generously held Long Lunch events for the past four years in support of their friends Mark and Vanessa Rotolone who lost their son Ari to mito. In December 2018 the lunch raised over $100,000 to support people with mito and bring us closer to urgently needed cures.