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:
Joel and Sarah Hood and their family continue to go above and beyond to help raise awareness of mito. They actively and openly share their family's story to support our work towards legalising mitochondrial donation. Their commitment to this journey has been recognised with the naming of the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 which was introduced to Parliament this year.
They have supported The Bloody Long Walk in Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, The Bloody Long Virtual Walk and are gearing up to support the first event in Mornington Peninsular with a big team of supporters. Joel even flew to Melbourne straight after completing the Sunshine Coast Bloody Long Walk to join his Eview workmates to complete a further 50km challenge!
Maeve is a very special little girl with a smile that touches all she meets. We agree wholeheartedly with her Dad Joel's words, "She really is making a difference and will probably achieve more in her short life than most of us can dream of".
Preeti Raghwani is an active community member who continues to offer invaluable support to the mito community through her role as co-host of the national Mito Parents Meet-up, offering a space for parents to connect and learn from each other. Preeti is involved in a wide range of advocacy and fundraising activities, creating awareness through Ziya’s Movement in honour of her daughter Ziya.
Rebecca's support of the foundation through the Mito Community Advisory Panel and her advocacy work for mitochondrial donation is unwavering. She's always willing to offer her help and support and does so with enthusiasm and professionalism. Rebecca is always willing to share her personal story with the media to raise awareness and support the work towards legalising mitochondrial donation.
Chelsea's long-term support of the Bloody Long Walk in memory of her beloved Stella has created a signature movement in the community. Outside of The Bloody Long Walk, Chelsea has provided keen insight into advocacy matters the foundation has been involved in.
Mia is a constant source of warmth, passion and empathy within the mito community. In her capacity as co-host for the national Mito Parents Meet-up, Mia has helped create a space for parents to connect, share experiences and learn from each other. Mia has been actively involved in Mito Foundation activities and continues to play an important role in the Mito Community Advisory Panel.
Suzie's ongoing dedication to the mito cause and her family's positive approach to sharing their story with mito is inspiring. We are grateful to Suzie for bravely sharing her story on The Project earlier this year to raise awareness of mito and support the need for legalising mitochondrial donation. Suzie and Team Dot are once again supporting The Bloody Long Walk Adelaide with around 40 walkers showing their incredible community spirit.
We're thankful for Bethany's courageous decision to share her personal story with the public to help legalise mitochondrial donation in Australia. Her story has reached Australians who knew nothing about mito; opening the possibility for more Australians to support initiatives that improve the lives of people impacted by mito.
According to Star Wars, midi-chlorians are intelligent microscopic life-forms inside the cells of all living things. A Jedi has an enormous count of midi-chlorians per cell which allows them to harness The Force. So, while Noah Barlow’s mitochondria may not be functioning at full, we believe he is superpowered by midi-chlorians! As Captain of the Mito Movement, Noah makes an enormous impact on our Bloody Long Walk event by helping to educate participants about mito. This year he starred in our new Bloody Long Walk video to share the true impact of funds raised. The effort and energy he put into this was outstanding. As with everything he does, Noah puts his cheeky stamp on this video like no-one else could!
Fabienne has acted above and beyond as an integral member of the Royal North Shore Hospital clinic dedicated to assisting people impacted by mito. The pandemic has caused an increased need for assistance and Fabienne has ensured that need is met with compassion and professionalism.
Multiple members of the mito community have praised Ashley's ability to embrace the challenges of understanding the complexities of different types of mito in adults and developing a tailored plan to meet their needs. Ashley is also a member of the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Exercise Physiology Network which is a clinical network of passionate Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) from around Australia who voluntarily collaborate to improve clinical practices.
Dr Drago Bratkovic is the Head of the Metabolic Unit at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide and we'd like to recognise the exceptional care he provides families impacted by mito. One community member has commented that "we feel incredibly privileged to have had our daughter under his care" so we thank Drago for his dedication to the care of his patients.
Phil Ladlow has offered exceptional care to people impacted by mito as a neuro physiotherapist practising in Tasmania. He spoke at a Mito Information Day about the benefits of exercise in relation to the wellbeing of people impacted by mito. This particular presentation was very well received during the event.
Since 2019, Concord Public School has held a fundraising or awareness activity to support the mito cause each year. This has helped inform the many students and families connected to the school about the ways they can help achieve a future free of mito. The school is very close to the Catton family and has vowed to continue supporting the cause even after family members move on from the school.
Molly’s House Kedron was attended by a mito community member who sadly passed away in 2014. The team have passionately involved themselves in the Brisbane Bloody Long Walk, with particular mention to Julie Wilson who has attended seven walks to date.
Matt has demonstrated a great drive to support others within the mito community. He leads the Victorian Mito Meet-up and strives to find ways to bring community members together. He has helped with several Mito Foundation initiatives including the dedicated project to improve the accessibility of online health information for the mito community.
Shelley has continued to generously give her time and energy to facilitate the Wellbeing Mito Connect Calls and Tasmania Mito Meet-ups. She is caring, kind, professional, informed and wholeheartedly dedicated in her role. Shelley continues to contribute to advocacy work to legalise mitochondrial donation by actively sharing her personal story in the media and engaging her local MPs and Senators. Her ongoing commitment to Mito Community Advisory Panel is greatly valued.
Mel has continuously committed her time and energy to improve the wellbeing of the mito community. During her tenure as Chair of the Mito Community Advisory Panel she shared her wisdom to improve support the community and she co-leads the NSW & QLD Mito Meet-ups.
Laura has gone to great efforts contacting multiple landmarks and buildings in Perth to Light Up for Mito and has shared her story as part of this year’s Faces of Mito. We thank Laura for being a passionate advocate in Western Australia. If you saw a monument light up green in Perth, it's a good chance that was thanks to Laura's dedication.
Kim initially offered her support via fundraising activities in Queensland including the Bloody Long Walk and this year decided to represent the voice of the community as a member of the Mito Community Advisory Panel. We look forward to Kim bringing new experiences and energy to the role.
Alexandra is impacted by mito and spends close to ten months of each year in hospital, where is she visited by friends and family. Alexandra is determined to understand mito and is currently a second-year medical student, hoping to focus on mito research. Alexandra also advocates for people impacted by mito to be able to access higher education and is building awareness of mito through her university peers and faculty.
Carl and Nicole prove that raising funds for a cause you believe in can take all forms. The Baldry’s included a charity bull in their annual farm steer sale in May 2021. Utilising their family business and connections the Baldry's were able to further raise awareness of mitochondrial disease within their community and make a significant donation to help end the suffering for other families impacted by mito. The family also rallies many national Henry's Heroes teams for The Bloody Long Walk which has raised a significant amount of funds.
Congratulations to Luke for his work on: "Optic atrophy–associated TMEM126A is an assembly factor for the ND4-module of mitochondrial complex I".
Congratulations to Ann for her work on: " Fatal Perinatal Mitochondrial Cardiac Failure Caused by Recurrent De Novo Duplications in the ATAD3 Locus"
Congratulations to Alison for her work on: " Fatal Perinatal Mitochondrial Cardiac Failure Caused by Recurrent De Novo Duplications in the ATAD3 Locus"