Abigail Goerges is a vibrant seventeen year old who is battling Mitochondrial Disease. If you could imagine running your whole house on a single battery, you would have to figure out what you would use, and what you could live without. Abi’s body is forced to make these decisions every single day. When Abi was diagnosed at 18 months, the doctors did not expect her to celebrate her ninth birthday.
Mitochondrial Disease can be classified as terminal, and currently has no cure or treatment. This disease affects Abigail’s ability to walk, swallow, and maintain normal energy levels. It also directly affects her autonomic system. While she is still fully mobile, she sometimes uses a wheelchair to help conserve energy for long distances or busy days. Abigail is outgoing, bubbly, and optimistic. She wins the heart of everyone she meets and is an inspiration to us all. Mitochondrial disease knocks her down daily, but she counters all of her obstacles with her beautiful smile and “I can do this” attitude.
Abi has four younger siblings: Alana, Henry, Mia and Austin. Abigail enjoys acting and aspires to be an actress someday, as well as an inspiration to others battling this terrible disease. Abi is very active in her church and is an MDA ambassador. She also enjoys singing, music, theater, and reading a good book.
What is Mitochondrial Disease?
Mitochondrial diseases are chronic, genetic, often inherited disorders that occur when mitochondria fail to produce enough energy for the body to function properly. These diseases can affect the cells of the brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, ears or pancreas. Each year, about 1,000 to 4,000 children in the United States are born with a Mitochondrial disease. Due to the nature of Mitochondrial Disease, it is classified as a terminal illness and currently has no cure or treatment.
Having mito can be like having a cell phone running out of battery – only certain apps may run and likely not for long. Abi’s body is forced to make these decisions every single day.
How we Started:
Members of Homie’s Hope have organized and coordinated benefits to raise over $72,000 in 10 years for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Those donations assisted UMDF in funding research to help find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease. Given the measurable success of previous fundraisers, along with the realization of the financial strain Mitochondrial Disease can cause, Homie’s Hope was created to assist Mitochondrial affected families while continuing to support the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation in its on-going research efforts.
What are we up to?
Currently we are accepting applications to financially assist a Mito family/families. In 2018, our donations to Mito families totaled over $23,000 and the assistance for each family ranged from $300 to $8,000!! From van modifications to wheelchair ramps to wheel chair stair lifts, we are willing to help any Mito patient who needs it!
If you know any Mito families who might be looking for assistance, please send them our way! For more info - please follow us on facebook at facebook.com/homieshope.