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The FOOT Foundation supports Mitochondrial Disease Awareness and help for families who struggle with this diagnosis.  Our son, Gianluca, was diagnosed with Progressive Mitochondrial Myopathy in September, 2012.  Please click on the video below to see the tribute I created in honor of our son.  If I can educate just one person about the effects of Mito, then this father's labor of love was a success.  

Light Up for Mito

Global Mitochondrial Awareness Week was even BRIGHTER this year! For the first time, the City of Tampa went GREEN for Mito.  Multiple locations lit up green on September 13, 2020, signifying the start of Mito Awareness Week. 


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A special thank you to Councilman Maniscalco for supporting the FOOT Foundation’s efforts to light up Tampa. Together, we were able to raise awareness for Mitochdonrial Disease in our local community.  Our friends, family and neighbors also represented by amazing displays of green. It was such a beautiful way to come together, especially in a time of isolation.  We hope to make this an annual event, with more locations lit green in years to come!

Please click on the slideshow to the left to see all of the great photos from Light up Tampa Bay for Mito

Mito Gladiator Spatulas

Everyone who has met Gianluca knows that there are 2 things he is never without...HIS SPATULAS!  Since he was a toddler, Gianluca has been intrigued by spatulas.  He has always needed two, one for each hand, and he has a terrific time playing everything from sword battles to drum solos with his trusted tools!  Over the years, GIanluca has collected nearly a hundred different spatulas from his travels, family members and friends!



No Mito Gladiator is complete

without his trusty spatulas.

So we decided to sell spatulas to continue our Mitochondrial Disease Efforts and Awareness

Thank you to everyone who purchased a set of Mito Gladiator spatulas. Every dollar helps us increase awareness and support for all those who suffer with Mitochondrial Disease





Please click on the photo to see a few moments of this special day of Mito Awareness.

Thanks to Three Brothers Pizza for coming in early to cater the delicious lunch we provided to the 50 fantastic faculty and staff members in the lower school.

We are always proud to be able to celebrate our strong Mito Gladiator!

The FOOT Foundation decided to educate the teachers and staff at Cambridge Christian school during Mito Awareness Week this year.  Gianluca began attending the school this year and so we thought it would be ideal to discuss Mito and answer any questions.


The response was overwhelming.  There were so many questions and interest in learning more.  Teachers took books and videos to show the kids in their class.  And so many times we heard, "what can we do to help?" that we left knowing that we were successful in spreading Awareness that day.

Gianluca's teacher showed the video The Magic Bracelet, by 16 year-old Rina Goldberg.  This 20-minute video about a girl with Mito has won awards all over the world, and is a terrific way to explain Mito to others.  For more information about Rina and her Mito journey, please go to

After the movie ended, GIanluca's teacher said that a couple of the children asked if it was a true story and wondered if Mito was real.  Gianluca proudly stood up and said "I have Mito and I am a Mito Gladiator".  I wish I could have been there for that moment.  Rina lost her battle with Mitochondrial disease in 2010, but I am pretty sure she was in that classroom and smiling as her story was shared with a room full of children.

The school has truly embraced us as a family and Gianluca as a special needs child.  In just two months, he has made wonderful, caring friends who look out for him and include him in all activities.  We could not be more thankful or blessed.




The FOOT Foundation kicked off Mitochondrial Awareness Week with a fun happy hour at Anise Global Gastrobar in downtown Tampa.

We are so thankful to those who came out to raise awareness and help us start the week in such a great way!

Thanks to Anise for donating 20% of their happy hour cocktails to help us continue our mission.  Please check out the pictures from this event!