This is a true example of "life's too short" and you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. Being a friend of Heather's, it was so heartbreaking to deal with Eli's passing. A mother should never have to bury her son. Each and every time I would talk to my friend or receive a text from her, my heart would break for her. She just couldn't handle it. I don't know how I would.
Mitochondrial Disease is SUCH a horrible disease. I have heard of way too many deaths since I was diagnosed and, therefore, became involved in the mito community. And I'm sure I will hear of many more. I was not ready for someone so close to me to pass away this soon. I know a lot of people from the mito community, especially because of my work with the EFL walk. I would be bothered by the death of any of those people, but no where near like I am in this situation. I am closer to Heather and her family than I am to anyone else in the mito community. That's why I took it so hard.
I was so pleased that Heather gave me the opportunity to help by asking me to bake cupcakes that she wanted to have at the visitation. So, it may have completely wore me out to make 100 cupcakes, but I didn't care. I needed to be able to do something. Something more than just saying "I'm here for you."
There are several fundraisers coming up in the next few months for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. When thinking about the fundraisers and thinking about whether or not you should donate, how much you should donate, if you should reach out to everyone you know to donate, etc. etc., please think about little Eli. Think about Eli's mother, my good friend Heather, and how she's feeling right now after the loss of her child. Think about the research that's being done to try to find an effective treatment for Mitochondrial Disease so that children like Eli could live FAR past the age of 3 years old. If all you had to do was talk to your friends and family and convince them all to donate $10, think about how much that would help. Then add that to all of my other friends and family doing the same with their contacts. The possibilities!!!
Since I brought up the fundraisers, I want everyone to put these dates on their calendars. I have already sent out a "Save the Date" email but a few people have still asked about the dates. So here's a reminder...