Four Jogs for Jonah
2 UPDATES: I've started a "Sponsor a Mile" program and am planning to do a raffle giveaway on January 1st. For every $25 you donate, you earn a raffle ticket and the option to "sponsor" one of the 48 miles I'll be running. For the raffle, I will be giving away a custom-built lightsaber and astromech droid (like R2D2) from Star Wars land at Disney World.
Learn more at www.RunJordanRun.com/autism
I vividly remember this day (July 2nd) six years ago when my family's next generation began; my nephew Jonah was born, and I was there to meet him! I remember my brother first appearing in the nursery with Jonah, we were watching through some large windows. There was so much joy in that moment it was overwhelming. My brother looked over at us with the goofiest smile I've ever seen and gave us two thumbs up. That was the first of many great Jonah moments.
As Jonah grew into a toddler we started to notice that something was a little different. He was ultimately diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A hard truth to cope with for my brother and sister. Life-changing. However, their strength and support for him has been incredible. Jonah is exceeding expectations and continually amazes and inspires us. He is a blessing to our entire family.
Last year, my wife and I had our own life-changing experience when our son was diagnosed with Cancer (he's Cancer-free now). It's different I know, but it gave me a little perspective into some of the decisions and emotions that my brother and sister have had to deal with. It was stressful, to say the least, and my brother encouraged me to start running for relief. "Run until it doesn't hurt anymore." After balking for months, I finally took his advice and ran my first 5k in November and then my first 10k in April. I was hooked - thanks bro!
Now, I'm training for my first half marathon this coming November, followed by the Dopey Challenge in January. This challenge consists of four races run over four consecutive days: a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon, for a total of 48.6 miles!
Autism Speaks is a charity partner for the Dopey Challenge, so it was a no-brainer for me to join the team. My family's journey has shown me some of the specific hardships faced by those affected by autism. It has also shown me how autism is poorly understood by many people, myself included. So, while I train for the Dopey, one of my goals will be to educate myself and bring awareness to these issues, in addition to raising money for Autism Speaks.
This January I’m going to run “Four Jogs for Jonah”. Thank you for donating and sharing our story!
From Autism Speaks:
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.
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 Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating solutions for tomorrow.
You can read about the work that Autism Speaks is doing here: https://www.autismspeaks.org/our-work
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