ashleyaWhen Ashley was 4 months old we suspected something was not right. The local doctors told us that she was just small and she would catch up. But she continued to be behind in all of her milestones. At 6 months old she still couldn’t hold her head up and behaved like a newborn. I contacted Shriners Hospital which referred me to Seattle Children’s Hospital. This was the beginning of our journey toward a possible mitochondrial diagnosis.

At the time Seattle Children’s Hospital didn’t have Dr. Saneto working for them and I had to find other doctors that could help Ashley. Our journey took us to Portland, Oregon. We saw doctors there until I found out about Dr. Saneto and his research and work with kids with mitochondrial disorders. This would be a great opportunity for my daughter to be under the care of one of the best in the field. We have been blessed to have him in our lives! Ashley looks forward to her yearly visits with her doctor.

Today Ashley is a very happy 14 year old. She has a horse she loves to ride, playing with her two dogs, Special Olympics and a big sister that includes her in everything. This was her second year attending Camp Korey. She loved the experience and the freedom without her family and especially the zipline!

Another essential part of Ashley’s life is physical and occupational therapies as well as speech in the school settings. While she looks forward to school, she receives considerable therapy and support. Without help, she would not be where she is today.

It is not easy raising a child with special needs. The kids and the families affected by mitochondrial diseases need everyone’s support. Please help support this wonderful cause, Dr. Saneto and all the others who are working to find answers for our kids!

Mark and Christi Dieringer

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