FFM is an Atlanta-based organization that supports research and treatment efforts for mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial disease is a group of disorders that are caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, which is the part of most human cells responsible for powering cell function. Because each person’s DNA and genomes vary, and depending on which cells are affected, mitochondrial disease looks different person-to-person. Symptoms can include almost anything from poor growth and muscle weakness to developmental delays and neurological issues. The causes of mitochondrial disease also vary, as some disorders are the result of genetic mutations while others can be caused by environmental factors. One person in every 2,500 is affected by mitochondrial disease.
FFM was founded in 2005 (with a name change in 2010) by parents of patients as well as medical experts. Its efforts provide financial support to treatment-based research for disorders associated with mitochondrial disease, focusing on Institutional Review Board and FDA-approved drug treatments and studies. Through its Hope Flies fundraising program, FFM’s message is to celebrate hope while raising funds and awareness through creative and inspiring events. These events occur, and are encouraged, for organizers across the country, and include athletic programs such as 5 and 10Ks, as well as Family Days at professional sporting events. Many of the functions honor patients, many of them children, suffering from mitochondrial disease, aiming to lift their spirits and celebrate milestones.
A quick general side note for event professionals about participating in charity events like these: When it’s possible, plan these events pro bono. Where the costs just aren’t feasible, we always at least donate fifty percent of our services to the organization. It’s a small way to give back to those organizations working to give it all. Additionally, encouraging your corporate clients to also partner up with non-profit organizations is a good way to promote a deeper sense of community in your area and field, creating a network of support that benefits everyone. For a list of Atlanta non-profits that you may like to get involved in, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits’ membership directory is a good place to start.
The upcoming Hope Flies Catch the Cure event will include dinner, cocktails, and dancing, as well as a live auction and raffle. Details and tickets for the upcoming FMM event can be found on their website.