Supporting families of children with rare mitochondrial diseases
"Ori Fund" in memory of Ori Levi
Ori’s fund is a social enterprise that was established in 2007 in memory of Ori Levi z”l’ who passed away from a rare genetic disorder, Leigh syndrome, when he was only 2 years and 3 months old.
The enterprise was established to raise awareness to mitochondrial (genetic) diseases by supporting both affected families and research offering a wide array of services: funding of medical tests, professional and emotional support, connecting to professionals in both the medical field and other complementary fields.
Alongside the support for families, the enterprise works to raise public awareness for rare diseases through extensive exposure in the media and social networks, as well as through various social initiatives.
What are mitochondrial diseases?
The mitochondrion (plural: mitochondria) is an intracellular organ responsible for cellular energy production. In every cell, there are a very large number of mitochondria (in a woman's egg, there are about 100,000 mitochondria). Mitochondria are involved in numerous physiological processes, including the synthesis and breakdown of fats, amino acids, fatty acids, and other essential cellular metabolites.
The mitochondria supply energy to the cell, meaning they generate fuel through energy molecules (ATP) so that the body's systems can function. As a result, mitochondrial diseases affect cellular energy production.
In these diseases, the primary impairment lies in the function of the mitochondria, specifically in the generation of energy within the cell through the respiratory system. Failure in this process leads to variable degrees of cellular dysfunction, and in severe cases, death of cells. Consequently, there is a disruption in the production of ATP (the molecule responsible for cellular energy supply). The damage can occur in any organ of the body, but it is most commonly observed in organs/tissues with higher energy demands, such as the brain, muscles, and heart. The impairment can manifest acutely, progressively, or intermittently.
Ravit Levi, a business development expert, entrepreneur, international marketing specialist, and founder of the Uri Enterprise, gives inspirational and optimistic lectures on a variety of topics: 'From Darkness to Light' - her personal story of coping with a crisis, social entrepreneurship, realizing dreams, dealing with rare diseases, and building a supportive ecosystem, and more.
The lecture is intended for audiences of all ages (starting with teenagers) and backgrounds (managers, employees, medical and research professionals, and others) and is tailored for each purpose.