Phoenix & Willow

Mitochondrial Disease

There was once two sisters. Both were beautiful and kind. The oldest sister, named after the beautiful willow tree, loved to smile and share her joy with the world. But as all phoenix’s do, she heard the calling of the fire and flamed. She did this much sooner than most phoenix and her family was very sad because they loved Willow very much and missed her dearly. Something magical happened from where her ashes had fallen. A willow tree grew. When her younger sister was old enough to fly from the nest, her favorite place in the world to fly to the willow tree. Each morning she would fly to it and sing. Somehow she knew that when she sat there she would always be close to her big sister. And if you listen very closely when the wind would blow through the willow’s branches you can hear the willow singing with her sister as well.

This Awareness Critter is a little different. She is based off of two beautiful sisters – Phoenix and Willow.
A phoenix is born out of ashes, out of grief and death, but emerges as something incredibly beautiful. She is often short lived but during her life the phoenix burns brightly and lights up the lives of all that know her.
There is no better representation for mitochondrial disease then a Phoenix, it is a horrible disease that can take the lives of the children who have it much too soon, yet those children bring light and hope to all those that know them during their short lives.

A little bit about Mitochondrial Disease:
Mitochondrial disease comes in many forms. Some fatal, some debilitating, and some relatively mild.  Mitochondrial are part of every cell of our bodies, except for red blood cells. They are responsible for 90% of our body’s energy and thus are incredibly important to our daily functioning. When you have mitochondrial disease these mitochondrial fail function and create less and less energy, when that happens cells can die. When this starts to happen in-mass, systems start to fail and individuals lives can be severely affected.  The organs and systems that seem to be most affected are the heart, respiratory system, endocrine system, liver, skeletal muscles, and brain.  As stated above there are different forms of Mito, Willow and Phoenix have a form called Leigh’s Disease. It is a form that is, currently, always fatal. All donations from this Awareness Critter, will be donated in the name of these two beautiful and brave girls and their family.

Learn more about UMDF :
To learn more about Mito, whom it affects and what research is taking place, please visit the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.


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