About Mitochondrial Disease

Mitochondrial disease comes in many forms and affects many parts of the body. Every 30 minutes a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10.  But very few doctors in the world know how to spot or treat it.

While mitochondrial disease was identified in the 1960’s, its role as an underlying cause of diseases such as autism, epilepsy and organ failure in children has only recently been explored by a handful of doctors who are making new strides every day.

Exact numbers of those affected are unknown because so many children are misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed, but mitochondrial disease is approaching the frequency of childhood cancers.

About Ellie’s Particular Disease – LBSL

LBSL is a degenerative brain and spinal cord mitochondrial disease. LBSL is a rare genetic disorder that does not allow those afflicted with it to produce a protein essential for production of myelin, a critical substance for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Myelin provides insulation – much like the plastic coating around the wires in your home. It is also essential for transmission of signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Almost all cells in the body have mitochondria, which are tiny “power plants” that produce 90 percent of the body’s essential energy. Mitochondrial disease means the power plants in Ellie’s cells do not function properly. When that happens, some functions in the body are not able to perform at adequate levels. Organs that require massive amounts of energy, such as the brain, are often the most affected. Unfortunately, like many Leukodystrophies – there is currently no cure for LBSL.

Finding a Cure

While there is no cure for LBSL, Ellie’s friends and family are not without hope. They plan to support research that, with God’s help, may one day lead to a breakthrough and eventually a cure for LBSL and other types of childhood Leukodystrophies.



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A Cure for Ellie
May 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

A Cure for Ellie added 4 new photos.

Ellie celebrated 8 years on this planet today. She is amazing and we are just so lucky to have her and her sister as our own. Happy Birthday Ellie! You were put here to do great things, and in just eight, short years you have already touched so many hearts and changed so many lives!

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Photos from A Cure for Ellie's post
A Cure for Ellie
April 21, 2016 at 12:10 am

A Cure for Ellie shared Fairlington5K's post.


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Mamas Donut Bites will be serving up some post race snacks for the race. Bring your appetite. #sugarygoodness #postrace @mamasdonutbites

A Cure for Ellie
April 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Ellie had such a blast today on WTBD's Let's Talk Live - News Channel 8 ! We were able to plug this weekend's Fairlington5K race and Dr. Fatemi from the Kennedy Krieger Institute was there to explain the research project that we are raising money for. We also got a plug in for Erin Sonn's charity yoga event for Ellie (also on Saturday). The staff and news anchor were so kind to Ellie. Such a blessing to be on this show again and get her story told to a wide audience. Thank you Let's Talk Live for having us as your guests today!http://wjla.com/news/lets-talk/a-cure-for-ellie

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A Cure for Ellie


When she first came on the show in 2013 to promote her 5K race, Ellie had just been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Leukodystrohpy-LBSL which affects the brain and spinal cord. At the time, her parents were raising money in the hopes that so


Follow @Cure4Ellie on twitter.


A Cure For Ellie is an organization dedicated to finding a cure and creating awareness for Mitochondrial Disease. The organization is named for Ellie McGinn, a 6-year old girl in Virginia who was diagnosed in September of 2011 with Leukodystrophy-LBSL – an extremely rare degenerative brain and spinal cord disease for which there is no cure and little understanding. Ellie’s family and friends launched ACureForEllie.org in September 2013 to raise funds, spread awareness, and provide some answers for families that encounter this terrible diagnosis. The funds raised will be distributed to other 501(c)(3) organizations dedicated to supporting “mito-kids” and their families, and to medical organizations such as Johns Hopkins University for continued research in this field.

To contribute and help the children affected by Mitochondrial Disease, please make a tax deductible donation at Kennedy Krieger or send a check made out to A Cure For Ellie – 4414 36th St. S. – Arlington, VA 22206.