Greensboro family wants to save others from loss

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 2004

GREENSBORO – A Greensboro family is raising money for research to try and save other families from having to suffer the loss of a child or grandchild like they did.

Laura and Wayne Washburn of Greensboro lost their grandson, Brock, Aug. 20, 2003 to mitochondrial disease. Little is known about the disease, other than the fact it does not convert food to the energy needed for survival.

Laura Washburn provided information on the disease, based on information from the Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

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“The mitochondria are the power plants in every cell, in every person’s body. In people with mitochondrial disease, the mitochondrial are not turning food into the needed energy to fuel the organs or muscles in the body. The end result can often mean a severe failure of major organs and muscle groups,” she said. “Life is compromised, altered or even ended. There is no cure.”

For that reason, the Washburn family is participating in a benefit walk Sept. 18 in Birmingham “to take ‘one step closer to a cure.'”

“We need to raise millions of dollars for research and create awareness in order to combat the deadly reality many adults and children face in the future from mitochondrial disease,” Washburn said.

The 5K “One Step Closer to a Cure” walk will be Saturday, Sept. 18, at Heardmont Park in Birmingham and will benefit the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

Registration begins at 8:30 and the walk will begin at 9.

Pre-registration, due by Sept. 1, is $20, the day of the event registration is $25.

“Pre-registration is strongly encouraged,” event organizers said. “All adult participants will receive a t-shirt and water bottle. All children under the age of 12 walk free.”

To pre-register, mail a registration form and check by Sept. 1. Make checks payable to UMDF and mail to: Ann Washburn, UMDF Walk Chairwoman, 2305 Woodcreek Drive, Hoover, AL 35226.

Donations can also be mailed to Laura Washburn, P.O. Box 181, Greensboro, Ala., 36744.

“This walk is in loving memory of Brock Washburn who lost his battle with mitochondrial disease Aug. 20, 2003,” Washburn said. Brock is the son of Alan and Ann Washburn and the grandson of Laura and Wayne Washburn and Jim and Kate Gilliland.

For more information call Laura Washburn at (334) 624-7997.