OUR EFFORTS AS MITO GLADIATORS

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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.  

2020
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

2019
Mito Gladiator Spatulas
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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!

 

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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

 

2019

MITOCHONDRIAL AWARENESS WEEK

 

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 www.rinasmovie.com.

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.

2018

MITOCHONDRIAL AWARENESS WEEK

 

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!

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CAMP H.O.P.E. UPDATE

(HANDLING OBSTACLES THROUGH PLAY AND EDUCATION

As the parents of a child with Mitochondrial Disease, we are well-aware of the medical and physical issues that children with Mito face daily.  One of those issues, which is very prevalent, is intolerance to heat and cold.  Living in Florida, therefore, is not kind to children with Mito.  Because of this, we have had less families interested in registering for a Florida based camp.

 

We have reached out to another organization to team up and make Camp H.O.P.E. happen.  With their help, we hope to establish a camp in a milder climate so that children and families will be more comfortable and able to enjoy a camp experience the way it should be!  We are confident and excited about the possibilities that exist and know that this dream will soon be a reality!

The main goal of Camp H.O.P.E. is to provide families with Mitochondrial Disease a respite weekend, while also supplying invaluable information to assist with common challenges they may face on a daily basis.  Empowering families is the fastest way to creating a sense of hope to face the uncertain future.
We are excited to support families of our local Florida community and look forward to a wonderful and successful weekend.

2016

MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE AWARENESS WEEK

4th ANNUAL COOKIES FOR A CAUSE

We are excited to report that we raised nearly $1,000 this year during Mitochondrial Awareness Week.
Thank you to our friends and family for your support and love!

2015

DONATION TO

VIRTUAL MEDICAL PRACTICE - FACTOID FRIDAY BLOG

The FOOT Foundation was honored to be able to sponsor the Factoid Friday Blog, written by Dr. Kendall with Virtual Medical Practice.  Dr. Frances Dougherty Kendall is board certified as a clinical biochemical geneticist and has extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of children & adults with a wide array of inborn errors of metabolism, specifically mitochondrial & metabolic disorders.

 

Her Factoid Friday Blog is an informative series on current topics relative to Mitochondrial Disease. Parents, caregivers and patients benefit greatly from the important information Dr. Kendall shares in this blog.  For this reason, we have agreed to fund this resource and hope that it reaches an even greater audience in the coming year.

 

Please click on the logo below to read the Factiod Friday Blog

2015

MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE AWARENESS WEEK

3RD ANNUAL COOKIES FOR A CAUSE

Another successfully "SWEET" year!  Our Third Annual Cookies for a Cause was busy, busy busy!  Many thanks to our friends and family who ordered Cookies, Cakes and Candy.  We raised over $900 to help us educate others about Mitochondrial Disease!

2014

MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE AWARENESS WEEK

2ND ANNUAL COOKIES FOR A CAUSE

  

This year's cookie event grew as we added Rum Cakes and Candy Bouquets to our list!  Mitochondrial Disesase Awareness Weeks was September 14-20, 2014, and we were busy bakers that week!!  This year, we far surpassed last year's total, selling 31 dozen cookies, 14 rum cakes and 15 candy bouquets!  Many thanks to our friends and family who purchased these goodies in order to help us raise awareness for Mitochondrial Disease!

  
2013

MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE AWARENESS WEEK

COOKIES FOR A CAUSE

  

Lisa took some time to make her FAMOUS Italian Wedding Cookies to raise money during Mitochondrial Awareness Week which was September 15-22, 2013.  Thanks to our friends and family who purchased more than 15 dozen cookies, along with Mitochondrial Awareness bracelets from UMDF and candles designed by Kindred Spirits.  We packaged the cookies in cute green boxes and finished them off with a green Mito ribbon!  Pictures are below.

  

 

On August 13, 2013, the FOOT Foundation presented a lecture on Infection Control Measures and an overview of Mitochondrial Disease for all of the teachers of the preschool.  A Donation was made to the school, along with Antibacterial Supplies, and Binders of all CDC Updates and Mitochondrial Disease Education. 

 

We were very proud to provide this education and awareness session and hope that other programs will follow suit in order to provide their educators with vital information.

2013 AWARENESS LECTURE / DONATION TO

ST. TIMOTHY'S EARLY LEARNING CENTER