Mitochondrial Disease: The Matthew Harty Scholarship
MitoAction, founded in 2005, is a Boston-based 501(c)(3) charity that provides advocacy, support, and educational resources free to all patients and caregivers affect by Mitochondrial Disease.
Mitochondrial Disease is an inherited chronic illness that causes debilitating physical, developmental, and mental disabilities. The disorder occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to produce enough energy for cell or organ function. Mitochondria are responsible for creating 90% of the energy needed by the body to support growth. When the mitochondria of the cell start to fail, less and less energy is generated. Symptoms are different from individual to individual, but common symptoms include poor growth, muscle weakness and pain, seizures, failure of the liver, heart, or kidney. Approximately 1 in 2,000 people in the U.S. has Mitochondrial Disease. There are no cures but treatment can help reduce symptoms.
The Matthew Harty Scholarship
“Matthew Harty loved his family more than anything. His smile lit up a room. And he touched forever the lives of every person he met. This extraordinary boy died from mitochondrial disease just days after his 8th birthday. His memory and his heart will live on through the Matthew Harty Scholarship.”
The Matthew Harty Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior or currently enrolled college student with mitochondrial disease. Preference will be given to applicants who have shown a history of community service and demonstrated an ability to inspire others by overcoming the obstacles presented by their diagnosis. The applicant must complete the application and write a one-page essay that includes how the money will be used to either further their educational studies or how it may be used to lessen the burden on managing their affliction to achieve their educational goals. The application must also include a letter of support from a physician or other healthcare provider who can verify the mitochondrial disease diagnosis and address the merit of the applicant.
The application deadline is May 15, 2015.
Photo of Matthew Harty courtesy of MitoAction.