TAMPA, Florida – The FOOT Foundation (Florida O&P Outreach Team), a local 501(c)(3) non-profit joins in the Light Up for Mito global initiative, for Global Mitochondrial Awareness Week, (September 13th-19th) and is set to light up Tampa Bay green.
Green, the official color for mitochondrial disease, will shine around Tampa on September 13, 2020, as an initiative to raise awareness, education and advocacy for this disease. The following monuments and bridges will be lit green, from dusk to dawn: Old City Hall, Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River, Curtis Hixon Fountain and Trees, Laurel Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge and Cass Street Bridge.
Councilman Guido Maniscalco comments on the importance of this event, “I’m happy to collaborate with the FOOT Foundation to bring awareness to this devastating disease. I hope that more people will do their part to educate others about mitochondrial disease. We want to bring awareness to the importance and gravity of this matter. City hall, the fountains and bridges in the downtown area are going to be lit green on Sunday, September 13th from dusk till dawn to show our support and stand in solidarity with the FOOT Foundation and everyone that has been affected by this. We are proud as the city of Tampa and as a member of city council, to target conversation and keep the conversation going so that people are more aware and better educated.”
The FOOT Foundation was founded by Dino and Lisa Scanio, a husband and wife team who dedicate their time to prosthetic and orthotic work for people in impoverished areas, while also coordinating with local charities to give back to their own community. In 2012, their son was diagnosed with progressive mitochondrial disease, where the body’s mitochondria fail to produce enough energy for the body to function. In most pediatric cases, the disease is fatal and there is no cure. As a result, they have dedicated a branch of their foundation to raising awareness for mitochondrial disease.