Team Jack Bluerock-McLeod
Dear Friends & Family,
As most of you know, our son Jack was diagnosed with autism shortly before his 2nd birthday and in an instant, life as we knew it changed. Rather than believing in a limitless future for our child, we prayed that he would be able to grow up to live independently. We felt helpless, sad and scared, but of course we didn’t sit idle. We began researching and networking, and as a result came across the Autism Speaks website which provides a wealth of resources for those impacted by autism throughout the lifespan. We are fierce advocates for Jack, and over the years have assembled an amazing support team of therapists, teachers, caregivers, coaches, friends and family.
Each year, we look forward to giving an update on the amazing progress Jack has made. And each year, as we reflect on the past 12 months, we can’t help but feel proud, fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful son. Jack is now 9 years old and smart, athletic, funny, empathetic, and loves unconditionally. He is currently in 3rd grade at Kester Elementary school and is thriving in a general education class with an amazing teacher and classmates. Jack has been asked to be a reading buddy to a kindergartener who is also on the autism spectrum. It’s wonderful to see Jack flourish and serve as a mentor to other kids. The school is wonderfully inclusive and it’s amazing how all the teachers, staff and families root for his success.
Jack and his twin sister Alex couldn’t be more different in personality and interests however Alex has an uncanny ability to reach into Jack’s interests and spin them into a game they can play together. Alex loves to play with stuff animals and Jack could care less, yet Alex has convinced him to form baseball teams with her stuffed animals and they play for hours. Of course, most of the time they fight like cats and dogs, and while it’s annoying we remind ourselves that we have worked so hard for this typical experience.
Jack is an avid Dodger fan and plays baseball for Sherman Oaks Little League. He is working with a private coach once a week and is developing into a pretty big hitter. He likes to pitch, dreams of playing in the major leagues, and plans to be an umpire when he retires. And while Jack still has a long road ahead of him, we remain very optimistic for his future.
Autism affects 1 in 68 children, and 1 in 42 boys. It is an epidemic that touches the majority of our population in some way or another – each of us has a connection to a family impacted by autism either directly or indirectly. Many lack the resources and wherewithal to advocate for and support their child. Autism Speaks strives to provide tools and resources to enable everyone impacted by autism to reach their maximum potential. It is why Nicole joined the Board of Directors 2 years ago, and currently serve as the Vice Chair of the Southern California Chapter of Autism Speaks.
Please help us raise funds to have a voice with legislators, to have access to the information and resources we need, to support research and medical discovery, and to help fund local services through the mission of Autism Speaks. Together, we can accomplish amazing things for people living with autism. Any amount, big or small, will have an impact. We know many of you donate year after year and your generosity means the world to our family.
Nicole & Geri
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|4/27/2019||Rose Bowl||8:30am - Registration Opens ~- Resource Fair Opens ~9:30am - Opening Ceremony ~10:00am - 5K Walk Begins, ~Short Route is Available ~11:00am - Finish Line Celebration ~1:00pm - Event Ends||Tamra Mariott 323-297-4737 LAWalk@autismspeaks.org|