Energy for Life Walkathon puts focus on mitochondrial disease

Energy for Life Walkathon puts focus on mitochondrial disease

Dr. Bruce Cohen


The second annual Energy for Life Akron Walkathon will take place at 9 a.m. on Aug 24 at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron.

The walkathon is organized by the Northeast Ohio/Cleveland Chapter of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) to raise awareness, and support individuals and families who are affected by mitochondrial disease, which has no cure.

Mitochondrial disease results when the mitochondria in a person’s cells cannot convert food into life-sustaining energy. For many, it’s an inherited genetic condition. For others, especially adults, the disease can be triggered by damaged mitochrondia. Research suggests that one in every 200 people carries the mutation that could develop into mitochondrial disease and that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of many more common diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, autism spectrum disorders and some cancers.

 The event came to Akron in 2012 at the request of Bruce H. Cohen, MD, director of pediatric neurology at Akron Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cohen has earned an international reputation for his work in mitochondrial disease, and is a trustee on the UMDF board.

Energy for Life is a one-mile walk and includes entertainment, refreshments and mitochondrial disease resources. Day-of registration begins at 8 a.m.

 If you would like to join Dr. Cohen’s team, “Cohen’s Champs of the NDSC,” or start your own team, go to

 “You don’t have to donate to join a team, although donations of all kinds are, of course, greatly appreciated,” said Mary Beth Towell, event co-chair. “We are just as interested in raising awareness about mitochondrial disease and showing our support for families affected.”

 The walk is sponsored by Akron Children’s Hospital and CrossFit Energy.

 For more information, contact Towell at 330-807-5068 or

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Energy for Life Walkathon: Raising awareness for kids with mitochondrial disease

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