In 2014 I lost one my cousins to a disease that I knew nothing about 12 months earlier. He was 33 years old.
At his funeral, I discovered that his younger brother had been diagnosed with the same condition, and died in 2015, aged 30. Both were young, beautiful men who should have had a many many more years ahead of them. Two brothers in arms, leaving behind a devastated family - mother, father and two sisters, as well as many aunts and uncles, cousins and friends.
Mitochondrial disease is not known to many, but those who do, usually know because they have been touched by it, and it's traumatising and debilitating effects. The Lily Foundation has commissioned and published an animation to explain in more detail. If you have two minutes, please watch it.
On Saturday 4th June I will be taking part in The National Three Peaks challenge, to climb the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) in 24 hours, to raise money for the research unit at Newcastle University who are trying to find a cure.
Any money raised will go directly to Newcastle University - the cost of the challenge, travel and accommodation have been funded by Datel and myself to ensure that any monies raised will go directly to the research team. I am not solely asking for donations, and am already grateful that you have taken the time to read this (and will hopefully read more on the condition), but if you can help me to raise awareness of the ongoing research and the impact that Mitochondrial Disease has, by sharing with your friends on social media, it would mean just as much to me.
Thank you to all involved in supporting me and the 24 other friends and colleagues on the challenge. We look forward to a hot bath, good food and sleep on the 5th June!
Thank you for taking the time to read this.