The Christini Fund

Christini ShimizuThe Christini Fund is named for Christine Shimizu who, at 11 months of age, was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease called Leigh Syndrome, which causes damage to critical areas of the brain that control breathing, blood pressure, appetite, and coordination. “Christini” lost her battle to the disease shortly after her second birthday. In her short life, Christini was an inspiration in many ways to everyone who knew her.

“Like a beacon from a lighthouse guarding a rocky shore, she helped cut though some of the mist surrounding these devastating disorders,” said Dr. Robert Naviaux. “She helped her doctors see new ways to treat her disease, sparking new ideas in research. And in so doing helped guide the way to a better life for many other children yet to come.

The Mission

In memory of Christine, the Shimizu family established the Christini Fund to raise money for research, increase public awareness of mitochondrial diseases, and inform people affected by these devastating diseases about the hope that can be found at UC San Diego’s Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (MMDC). The MMDC is an international referral center that provides diagnosis and life long treatment for patients with mitochondrial disease. By continuing crucial research, the lives of people affected by these diseases can be prolonged while a cure is being discovered.