CHICAGO — It is a medical challenge that very few parents will ever face, but a South Side family is and doing it with strength, grace and a lot of smiles along the way.
Kevin and Maura Ryan have three children: Lucy, 7; Declan, 5; and Winnie, 2. Both of their daughters have Mitochondrial Disease, or MITO for short. The disease prohibits cells from burning food and oxygen to make energy.
Only about 17 people in the world currently have this rare diagnosis. Four of them are located in the United States, and two of them are in the Ryan family.
The disease has made Lucy blind and has affected her hearing, too. MITO has not affected Declan, but it has Winnie.
Family and friends have organized the fundraiser "Rally for The Ryan Sisters" to help offset medical bills and provide a living space suitable to their needs.
The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2-7 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street.
For more information, go to rally4ryansisters.com.