Raffle helps boy with Mitochondrial Disease

Connor Brotherton, 7, has Mitochondrial Disease.

Dozens of people from across Mid-Missouri were at the Ashland Senior Center to help a sick boy.

Connor Brotherton, 7, has Mitochondrial Disease. His cells have trouble converting food into energy. He canâ??t walk or talk. Connorâ??s Great Aunt Mel Reifsteck of Hartsburg organized a bake sale and raffle to help The Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

Reifsteck said, â??Being my great nephew, it is very personal. Iâ??m trying to do the best that I can to raise as much money as I can for him.â??

Reifsteckâ??s brother Rich Brotherton is Connorâ??s grandpa and caretaker.

Brotherton said, â??Heâ??s actually very healthy. Most of these kids have problems. The older they get, the more time they spend in the hospital until they are no longer in the hospital. Heâ??s a healthy, happy kid.â??

Connorâ??s fundraiser had more than 30 raffle items and lots of homemade baked goods.

Fundraiser donor Terry Vache said, â??I want to do what I can to help somebody else. Thatâ??s basically what we are doing. Plus, we wanted to get some good baked stuff.â??

A group called Connorâ??s Coyotes supports Connor at various fundraisers including a recent Walk-a-Thon in St. Louis.

Researchers have not found a cure for Mitochondrial Disease. Doctors canâ??t prescribe medications. Connor can only take vitamin supplements to give him more energy.

Connor doesnâ??t go anywhere without his Happy Feet penguin doll and his grandpa who hopes one day heâ??ll hear his grandson speak.

Reifsteck said, â??It broke my heart when my brother e-mailed me and said can you help find a cure for my grandson. I didnâ??t get upset. I just cried.â??

Connor had to return to his home in St. Louis after appearing at the fundraiser for about 3 hours.