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Public Statements

Mitochondrial Disease Caucus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I first heard about mitochondrial diseases, which are fatal, from my chief of staff, Art Estopinan, who, together with his lovely wife Olgita, have been caring for their baby after he was diagnosed with TK2 mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which has left Arturito, Jr., unable to move his fingers and toes, as you see in this poster, putting him in constant need of mechanical support to breathe and receive nutrition.

They were informed that their baby son, Art, Jr., would live only a few months, as there were no known medications. But thanks to the experimental treatments that Arturito is receiving from Columbia University Medical Center, medical care at Johns Hopkins Pediatric Hospital, and at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the doctors have established a discharge date for mid-October, an unimaginable expectation just a year ago.

I pray for Arturito, Jr., and babies like him every night. I urge all Members to contact our office to make sure that they can learn more about these diseases by becoming a part of the Congressional Mitochondrial Disease Caucus. Let's look at Arturito, Jr., and let's save him and the countless others.

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