Running for Autism Speaks!
After reading and watching so many inspiring stories at the NYC and Boston marathons, I decided to challenge myself to achieve what feels like the impossible! This November, I will be running the NYC Marathon with the Autism Speaks team!
I joined the Autism Speaks team in honor of my sister, Jaclyn. Jaclyn was 2 when diagnosed with Autism and while she faces daily challenges such as communicating thoughts and needs, absorbing change, and handling sounds in her environment, she approaches each day with determination and the desire to learn. Jaclyn is truly an inspiration.
Jaclyn’s development and achievements would not be possible without the unyielding love and determination of my step-mother, Eileen, and my father, Tony. For 23 years, they worked tirelessly to find and obtain the services Jaclyn needed to progress and grow. Whether it was transportation, education, testing, aides, or supporting tools, Eileen was always present and engrossed with planning, research, phone calls, letters, meetings, and appointments. While odds were often against them, every little win and Jaclyn’s progress kept them focused and fighting.
Now, as Jaclyn enters the workforce, the effort and advocacy continues. Jaclyn is brilliant, follows directions, and is a wiz with a computer. Thankfully, organizations like Autism Speaks now exist to help my dad and Eileen navigate the next stage of life for Jaclyn.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. They empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 59 children is on the autism spectrum.
Thank you for helping me reach my goal. Your support is greatly appreciated!
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