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Awesome Big Sister Pens Book for Her Sick Brother; Raises $20,000 for a Cure

Sister writes book to raise funds for brother's illness

At just 9 years old, Mackenzie Lawrey is already ahead of the curve: She's a published author who's managed to sell an impressive 500 copies of her first book, Mighty Mito Superhero, in just one week. (And she's only in 4th grade.)

But the reason for her early authorship is where the real story lies.

Inspired by the determination of her little brother, Gavin, who struggles daily with the rare and energy-depleting illness of mitochondrial disease, Mackenzie sat down to write a different kind of tale than one you'd normally read in a kid's picture book.

"I wanted a better way for people to understand Mito," Makenzie told News-Press. She also desperately wanted to find a way to raise money for a cure, since she'd learned that research is severely underfunded.

Her goal? Oh, just a mere $1 million. So far, she's managed to raise $20,000, which is pretty impressive in just one week.

The book features little Gavin as the tale's main star, who secretly possesses special powers that allow him to do amazing things—like cure kids' seizures and defeat the villainous Mito. His alter-ego name? Mito Action G.

In order to write the book, little Mackenzie didn't just call on her creative writing skills; she also had to do her fair share of research into the disease itself. According to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, mitochondrial disease can damage the cells of major organs, leading to poor growth, muscle weakness and even cardiac or liver disease. Mackenzie's story aims to simplify the disease so that even small children can understand its effects.

Though she's a bit far off from her goal of $1 million, Mackenzie remains determined to get there. "It makes me feel really good because I know that even if [Gavin] doesn't feel good, I can still help in a way," she told WINK News of her book.

You can learn more about Mighty Mito Superhero on the Lawrey family's Facebook page or on Hope4Mito.com.

Heroes Among Us from Megan DiPiero on Vimeo.

Images via Shannon J. Dodge Photography

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