A 4 Year-Old Howard City Boy Has Lost His Fight With Mitochondrial Disease

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breycroppedFOX 17 has followed the courageous story of Breylon Senn and his family for the past year. The disease also affects his 1 year-old sister Brynlee. In the United States, about one out of 4,000 people have ‘Mito’.

Brey was diagnosed with the disease while in his infancy. Most commonly known as ‘Mito’, it occurs when the mitochondria of cells fail to produce energy for organ function; leading to organ failure. It was around the age of 2 when Brey could no longer eat by mouth and required a gastrostomy tube for nutrition. Most of his life was spent with numerous trips to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Back in August, the community rallied, raising funds for the Senn Family to see a specialist in Atlanta. While they knew the outlook would most likely be the same for Brey, they were hopeful to slow down the process for little Brynlee.

Through their own fight, the family has set up the Breylon Senn Research Fund through the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, designated donations to research involving various aspects of the disease. Every year the family also holds a 5K for the foundation.

Brey’s mother, Ashlee Senn, posted this message on her Facebook page:

“Our brave little Breylon is free.. Free of pain, free of suffering, free of mitochondrial disease. Our hearts are broken, our world shattered. But if there is one thing we can learn from Breylon, it is to be strong. Find strength we didn’t know we had. He will leave a legacy of lives he has touched, changed and transformed. At just four years old he had the spirit and grace far beyond his years. I am so forever blessed God gave him to Gavin & I, I just wish it would have been longer.”

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  • Friend

    The world has lost a brave warrior today. Breylon you will always be my hero. I am sad you are gone from our earthly touch, but knowing you are pain free is my comfort. May God guide your family and friends through this loss.

  • Kaite

    I am so sorry for your family. My prayers are with you. And losing a love one is so difficult especially a precious child. Those left behind feel the most pain, they ache from his loss, and miss his hugs and kisses, and laughter. The good news is he is in Heaven with Jesus now, though that may bring some comfort, it is natural to feel some anger as well. I loved your facebook message and just be happy that you had him for a short time, and you wil see him again someday. God Bless you

  • emily

    So heartbreaking, I can't imagine what you are going thru right now. You are in our prayers. Precious little boy, in the arms of Jesus!!!

  • Bobbie Ruehling

    Fly, fly high Breylon. Fly up towards all the other little angels that have gone before you. They are waiting for you to show you around and they want to play with you. God Bless your family<3

  • Anita

    I, too, had a granddaughter who passed from Mito…my comfort and yours is that they are free of pain and they are with the angels doing everything they couldn't do while here on earth. God had a plan for them even though we sometimes feel anger but knowing they are in the kingdom of heaven we find some peace. God rest all their souls.

  • Laura Huizenga (Helen Devos Rn)

    We all love Breylon and his family. They have touched our hearts. We standby you ( Senn family), in sadness and awe of Breylon. We will be your shoulder if you need one. Our sadness is because we will miss him. The presence of this amazing child enhanced many lives. We should celebrate what his short life acomplished and the peace he now will have.

  • Alice

    I am so sorry. I know the cure is out there. So many beautiful children and adults suffer from this disease and their families suffer along with them. Please support the causes that are out there to fight for a cure. The UMDF – Mito Action and Cure Mito.