Living With Mitochonrial Disease, on WFCR's StoryCorps
Most members of the Couture family of Springfield, Massachusetts have something in common: a genetic disorder known as mitochondrial disease. The disease occurs when the mitochondria in your body -- which we all have -- fail to produce enough energy for cells or organs to function. It's detectable, but not curable. Some people can live a normal life with mitochondrial disease while others lives are completely compromised. Theresa was an I-C-U nurse until her mitochondrial disease caused several strokes. Her daughter, Brianna is a senior in high school. She's a singer and wants to study theater in college, come fall. She has outlived her prognosis, and, to continue to survive, her day to day activities must be strictly regulated. She has a pacemaker, takes frequent naps, and there's no room for the usual spontaneity of a teenager's life. Brianna and her mother came to the StoryCorps booth in Springfield, to talk about living with mitochondrial disease.