Life Today

What Mito Took

This week is Mitochondrial Awareness week.

Which is funny because if you know me, you know about your mitochondria.

But I truly wish you didn’t know.

My loss hits sometimes.

I was in a college town on Saturday. It was a weekend for high school seniors to tour the campus. The hotel lobby was full of anxious, potential new students and overprotective parents. I got into the elevator with a mom and her daughter. The daughter held a bear shaped travel pillow in one hand and her mom’s hand in the other. She sighed deeply and put her head on her mom’s shoulder. Her mom instinctively turned and kissed her daughters head.

I, ironically was going back upstairs to work and held a glass of wine in my hand. I took a sip and examined the buttons on the elevator.

They got off on the fourth floor and continued to hold hands.

The ease of this intimacy between mother and child….I miss….I will covet for the rest of my life.

Mito took that piece of my life and dared me to find a different one.

It took many pieces.  

It sat across from me with irksome eyes, returned my life after loss on a platter; steaming, stinking, painful, unidentifiable and goaded me to find a new purpose.

And so I dug through the mess and tended to what was salvageable. It took a lot of digging, a lot of scrubbing and searching…..searching through the shit for what was good.

Eventually, I constructed my new life.

It is piecemealed together, fragile, continually searching and changing to find what makes it complete but it is a life in spite of all that Mito tried took.

I am broken. My new life presents me snarky, impatient, unpredictable and horrifically judgmental.

This morning I watched Madonna being interviewed by CBS this morning. She is doing great work in Malawi, Africa. Good, commendable work. But she said she is doing it because she is the embodiment of whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I spit my tooth paste out and said Bullshit to the TV.

I have become the woman who yells at the TV.

At Madonna.

In this new life I have met many beautiful, humble embodiments of strength. They do not tell you they are strong. They pick through the remnants of the old life, polish, scrub and redefine.

Mito takes. It takes strength, energy, power and our Loves. It returns us as voyeurs in an elevator daring us to continue on. Challenging us to find our life again.

It takes a lot. And it takes a lot to not allow this disease to take everything.

The antonym to take is to give. And perhaps that is how I must right size all the taking; to combat it with giving. Not because giving is the altruistic thing to do; that part is the icing on the cake. But because the giving stands up to the taking and I need some soldiers in my court or at the very least in my elevator.

Happy Mitochondrial awareness week.

Life Today

Hope is the Dream of the Waking Man

This is a quote I found on ‘the google’. It’s a French proverb and I like it.
 
Because what are we if we do not have hope? In the flooded streets of Houston, in the incomprehensible situation unfolding in the Pacific, in the stressful realities of our special needs community, we all need hope.
 
On Thursday we officially finished up another year of riding with the Courage Classic and fundraising for our Mitochondrial Clinic. It was another amazing year.
 
As we finished nine years of riding and six years of funding the Mito Clinic, certain things are starting to happen; really good things. Ideas and projects that only start to come to fruition after years of consistent fundraising and establishing ourselves as a partner in the mito community.
 
And as we finish up another year, I am in awe of a group of people can do.
 

No matter how small.
 
For all of you following, donating, riding, volunteering and supporting us. This is what you have done this year:
 
1. This year Children’s Colorado became a site for an international clinical trial for those with mitochondrial myopathies. We are one of 50 sites internationally. You can access the trial info here: http://www.stealthbt.com/clinical/.


It’s a reason to smile 🙂
 
2. The protocols used by the clinic have  been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Mitochondrial Disease. These are all super big words but what it means is that Colorado will become an international hub for research in this field. Our goal moving forward is to establish Children’s Colorado as a Mitochondrial Center of Excellence. This means more research money and support will be funneled into our state.

 

 
One reason why Jim does all of this 🙂
 

3. Dr. Austin Larson joined us as a fellow in 2014 and is staying on as an Attendee focused on Mitochondrial research, treatment and clinical testing at Children’s Hospital . Dr. Larson spoke and met with families this year at the United Mitochondrial Disease conference- we are very excited to have him on board and representing Colorado
 
Cal is THRILLED about this
 
4. We have sponsored a grant between Dr. Larson and Dr. Green to fund a research project looking at the link between mitochondrial deviations and type one diabetes
 
 
Makes Maria smile (Joakim too 🙂  

 
5. We also supply families in the Rocky Mountain region with supplements not covered by insurance through the Metabolic Food Store at Children’s
 
 
One reason why this beautiful group rides
 

6. We continue to fund the research lab at CU
 
 

 


Six items for our six years. Not too bad.

This team has kept Mito research in Colorado.

This team is what will help continue that research.

I started with a Hope. You all supported a dream. And we kept it a dream in our state. And we continue to support our local families.

You keep me awake.

During the ride, I climbed up Battle Mountain with John Denver in my head, the mountains around me and the lack oxygen in my lungs.

I cry every time I hear Rocky Mountain High. 

And yes, I do realize this might be a character flaw.

I stopped, took in the beauty, wiped my eyes. And thanked God, the universe, my tribe, Samantha and this crazy life for bringing this all into fruition.

And I so leave you with the first verse.

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Coming home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door


Thank you for helping me find my key 🙂