By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A fundraiser was held Thursday night at Gratz College by an Elkins Park family to raise money to find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease. The Goldberg family lost their 15-year old daughter, Rina, to the disease in December of 2010. The event also raised funds to be put towards the production of a movie, written by their daughter, who dreamed of seeing it on the big screen (see related story).
The movie will feature the story of two best friends, who find out they were separated at birth. One of those friends will be battling Mitochondrial Disease, which Stacy Goldberg says will draw from Rina’s experiences.
“She shaped everything in the movie around what she was experiencing, and she wrote, like any writer would, into that.”
Dr. Amy Goldstein of Children’s hospital Pittsburgh, a speaker at the fundraiser, says what Rina and other people battling Mitochondrial Disease experience is anything but pleasant.
“(It’s) a disorder of energy failure. So, the problem is that in every single cell we have mitochondria are there to generate energy, and when the energy is not made properly the cells can’t work. Its very similar to sitting in your house and the lights go out. And you’re wondering what just happened?”
Rina’s movie is being written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody through the Make a Film Foundation. Production is scheduled to begin in April.