On Sunday, May 15, if you happened to see over 100 people walking on Coyote Creek Trail, wearing navy blue tee shirts that said “Danger Future Flux Capacitors of America,” there is no need to worry. The walk was for a worthy cause to fight Mitochondrial Disease. “Mito” is a rare and often underdiagnosed disease that cut short the life of local resident, Ryan O’Rourke. When Ryan was diagnosed, he fought hard and wanted to make a difference so others could benefit from his journey.
As a result, Ryan and his family started The Future Flux Capacitors team 11 years ago with seven people. It has turned into an annual event with over 100 people participating in this year’s Walk with the collective goal to raise funds and awareness for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. The UMDF’s mission is to promote research and education for diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families. For more information on Mitochondrial disease, visit www.UMDF.org
Ryan grew up in Morgan Hill, where he attended St. Catherine School and Live Oak High School. He graduated from San Jose State with a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2012.
Many people knew Ryan around town. He was always positive with a smile on his face and made everyone he met feel like a friend. As a teenager, he was a scorekeeper and umpire for Morgan Hill Pony Baseball. In high school, he worked after school at the old Long’s Drugstore, Coyote Creek Golf Course and Cordevalle Country Club. He also played on the Live Oak Golf Team. In college, he worked at the San Jose Shark Stadium. Ryan worked hard!
Later on, you may have run into Ryan at the Morgan Hill Rec Center working out; fighting the debilitating effects of his disease. As a result, his brothers started the Ryan O’Rourke Stay Strong Scholarship Fund that is awarded annually to LOHS students who have a 3.0 GPA, participate in high school sports and have had to overcome a personal challenge.
For more information on this scholarship visit ryanorourkestaystrongfund.org. To date, four very deserving high school seniors have received a scholarship from the Ryan O’Rourke Stay Strong Fund. It is awarded every spring for seniors attending college in the fall.
For more information on Ryan’s Team “The Future Flux Capacitors of America” visit https://www.classy.org/team/400974
The O’Rourke Family