31st ANNUAL CHARLEROI FEDERAL LITTLE GREAT RACE

Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 8:15 am

2009 CHARLEROI FEDERAL LITTLE GREAT RACE BENEFICIARY

Gionni Antonio

Proceeds from the 2009 Charleroi Federal Little Great Race went to Gionni Antonio.

My Name is Michele Antonio. I have been married to my husband, Scott, for 18 years and we have been blessed with three beautiful children. Our youngest son, Gionni, was diagnosed at the age of 2 with a rare terminal genetic disease called Mitochondrial Complex IV Deficiency or MELAS for short. This disease affects every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Basically, humans need energy to grow and survive and MELAS does not let the body manufacture enough energy, so the cells, tissues and organs cannot develop or survive.

Gionni, who is now 11 years old, suffers multi-organ symptoms. At first he experienced gastrointestinal symptoms and muscular weakness. It has evolved to kidney, pancreas, heart, lung, liver and neurological involvement. He has had 12 strokes, continual seizures and he has a cognitive level of a 4 year old. He has undergone 30 surgical procedures and takes 32 different medications 3 times a day just to try to control his symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.

© 2017 Charleroi Federal Little Great Race