Products to Benefit Mootha Lab for Mitochondrial Research + GIVEAWAY and Awareness Freebies!

It’s that time of year again! Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week  starts tomorrow! I’ve been busy re-stocking my etsy shop with awareness products!

I’ve often been asked, Which Mitochondrial Disease organization do you support?” as though I have to “choose one.” There are multiple non-profit organizations out there which help mito patients such as MitoAction, UMDF, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine,  and Cure Mito, to name a few! They all serve a different purpose in the mito community, and even various mitochondrial researchers are focused on different areas of research.

Last year, I donated a portion of the proceeds to  – MitoAction (Mitochondrial Disease Action Committee), a Boston-based non-profit whose  is to improve quality of life for all who are affected by mitochondrial disorders through support, education and advocacy initiatives. I ended up raising $328 last year through the sale of Little Free Radical’s awareness products!

Once again this year, I have DNA Headbands available (in 4 sizes – baby, toddler, child and adult), and we added 2 new color options for the flowers – pink or blue in addition to the green!

I also still have my Mitochondria: The Missing Piece Awareness Pin for Mitochondrial Disease:

It comes in a cellophane bag, pinned to a sage colored card with the following explanation:

FRONT: The green on this ribbon represents energy, and the puzzle piece in the center represents the mitochondria. The role of mitochondria play a key role in many diseases!

BACK: For 2 million people living with mitochondrial disease, it’s the piece to the puzzle that explains the connection between a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms affecting multiple organs – an underlying defect in mitochondrial metabolism.

Studies have shown underlying mitochondrial dysfunction to also be a piece to the puzzle for up to 20% of individuals with autism. Mitochondrial dysfunction also plays a role in several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Lou Gehrigs disease (ALS), as well as diabetes, some types of cancer, heart disease, blindness, deafness, strokes and are also involved in the aging process!

Funding mitochondrial research not only benefits people living with mitochondrial disease, but may also help with treatments and a cure for more then 50 million Americans living with diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction is involved.

For more info on Mitochondrial Disease, visit

For 2012, I decided to donate a portion of our proceeds directly to mitochondrial disease research! I’ve chosen to support Mootha Lab for Mitochondrial Medicine Research!

Dr. Vamsi Mootha is an Indian-American physician-scientist and computational biologist. He is currently a Professor of Systems Biology and of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as a researcher in Mitochondrial Medicine at the Department of Molecular Biology and Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and also has his own lab, Mootha Laboratory at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

His research group is a team of clinicians, computer scientists, and biologists working together on  mitochondrial research and how problems within the mitochondria can result in human disease.

Some of Dr. Mootha’s accomplishments include:

Not only is he a researcher, but he’s also an amazing advocate for patients with Mitochondrial Disease. He has been actively involved with two mitochondrial disease organizations, MitoAction and The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Here he is speaking at the Massachusetts State House to legislators about Mitochondrial Disease.

Next week, during Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week, Dr. Mootha will be in Washington DC  speaking at the Congressional Mitochondrial Disease Caucus  at a briefing entitled “Mitochondria 101 – How Something So Small is So Important to Human Life.” I think it’s fantastic that we have a researcher  in Mitochondrial Medicine, who is willing to leave the lab to spend time educating families, medical school students, and even legislators about Mitochondrial Diseases and the role mitochondria play in other human diseases too.

If you want to know more about Dr. Vamsi Mootha  and his research, here are a few more articles:

If you’re interested in directly donating to Dr. Vamsi Mootha’s research, you can donate here by clicking “Mitochondrial Disease Research – Mootha Lab.”

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What would Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week be without a fun DIY project from Little Free Radical?

 In celebration, I thought I’d make FREE  DIY Flag Printables so you can help spread awareness in your community!

I thought these would be a fun DIY idea and an easy way to spread mitochondrial disease awareness in the workplace, at school, in your neighborhood, or even having a party to honor or remember someone in your life affected by mitochondrial disease.  Here are some ideas for use:

  • Print some out and put them on pencils for your child to pass out to classmates!
  • Or put them on pens and share them with your coworkers!
  • Bake some cupcakes and use them as cupcake toppers!
  • Get some straws (we also sell retro paper stripey straws in our etsy shop!) and put them on top for a party or the break room at work!
  • Make a cheese, veggie or fruit platter and use them as toppers!
  • Host a fundraiser to help support your favorite Mitochondrial Disease organization or researcher!
  • Or come up with an idea of your own!!!


I made 5 different designs – you’ll get them all on one sheet! You’ll see tiny mitochondria on the backgrounds too! :)

FRONT: 2 Million Americans are living with various forms of mitochondrial disease
BACK: Be part of the cure

FRONT: Mitochondrial Diseases = Invisible diseases
BACK: Increasing Awareness can help Increase Understanding

FRONT: Mitochondria Produce 90% of the energy your body needs to function.
BACK: Mitochondrial Failure causes cell injury which leads to cell death. As multiple organ cells die, there is organ failure.

FRONT: Mitochondria are the power plants for the human body.
BACK: Mitochondria produce energy molecules by turning food and oxygen into adinosine triphosphate

FRONT: Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week September 16-22, 2012
BACK: Be part of the cure

To Use Them:

  • Just save the PDF file (HERE) to your computer.
  • Print them – either at home or somewhere like Office Max or Staples. I brought mine to Office Max and had them print them on glossy cardstock for 69¢/page – cheaper then using my my own ink!!!
  • Cut them out!
  • Then use double stick scotch tape to attach them to whatever – straws – pencils, food picks, & more!

Be sure to upload your photos of your printable flags in use to our facebook page!

We’d love to see your creative ideas!


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Lastly, how about another Awareness Week Giveaway?!?
Same as last year – 2 winners will get to choose between a Mitochondria: The Missing Piece Awareness Pin and a DNA Headband in the size of their choice!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check back here through awareness week for more posts & freebies!