Firstly, last week we shared our desire to make Product Impact 2020 open and inclusive. This week we are taking another step to support our community. We are super excited to announce Product Impact 2020 supports the United mitochondrial disease foundation with Dave McGovern. Who is a proud parent of a bright, articulate, creative 9-year-old son named Cavan.
By now you may have seen that Bianca McGovern is a speaker at Product Impact 2020. During our initial discussions about her becoming a speaker at Product Impact 2020. I expressed interest in giving back to the community, being open and inclusive.
I told Bianka that I was looking for a cause to support. She mentioned her Nephew Cavan. Cavan was diagnosed this April with a rare, progressive, potentially fatal mitochondrial disease called Kearns Sayre Syndrome (KSS). KSS is a very rare disease. I don’t have the exact number, however, from what I understand the number of people affected is in the hundreds.
In addition, we all have mitochondria. The mitochondria in the cells throughout our bodies are responsible for creating 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function. When mitochondria malfunction, organs begin to fail. People with mitochondrial diseases can lose their eyesight, hearing, motor and pulmonary function, and the ability to control their heart rhythms, which can lead to sudden death. There is no cure for the mitochondrial disease; there is no medical treatment to slow down or prevent the disease’s progression.
After that, my heart dropped. Below are a few photos of Dave, Cavan and the rest of the family.
Update on Cavan
This past year, Cavan’s eyelids began to droop considerably, causing many to point out how incredibly exhausted he looked. The drooping (ptosis) became so severe that Cavan had to tilt his head back to see. Cavan also was not growing or putting on weight because he was not producing growth hormones.
He struggled physically, often growing fatigued very quickly with exercise or after basic actions, like sitting up at his desk in school. After trips to ophthalmology and neurology, Cavan was sent for a brain MRI which showed a considerable change in his brain matter since his last brain MRI 2 years before. The brain scan indicated KSS, a disease we–and many of his doctors–had never heard of.
What this means
Simple: $25 from every ticket sold for Product Impact 2020 will go to help Dave with his goal of raising $200,000.
To learn more about the McGovern family, KSS, and the family fundraiser please consider donating here.
We here at The Product Angle cannot even imagine what Dave, Cavan and the rest of the family are going through. We wish them all the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.