Why I Walk for Autism Speaks
I've had Asperger's (known in some circles as High Functioning Autism) since the day I took my first breath in this world on January 14th, 1990. Months before my birth, my parents' doctor stated to them that there would be a very high likelohood that I'd be dehabilitated with every major affliction from Down's syndrome to heart defects to Autism. It was recommended to them that they abort me to save myself the pain of trying to survive in this world...
Through the grace of God and my parents' steadfastness in sticking with me no matter how I'd come out, I stand here today at 31 not only a life survivor, but a life thriver. Even through many difficult life trials and tribulations including homelessness during adolescence, I'm a gritty, self-sufficient individual who has the awareness to realize that I couldn't have done all of this alone, and not everyone has a strong family unit to help them through the worst.
As I've grown older, I want to be one of those individuals who will fight for anyone who needs support pertaining to Autism. I will fully immerse myself in the continued awareness efforts and general inclusivity that the Autism community often doesn't receive. No matter where someone is on the spectrum, no matter what they identify as, or what they've experienced, we are all humans entitled to the same rights and structural supports. This is why I'm walking. Autism doesn't define me, but it is a part of who I am, and the mission of Autism Speaks to raise money towards innovative research is one that I fully embrace. I encourage you to donate with whatever amount you see fit as I embark on this walk. Your support is extremely welcome, and I thank you so much for it. - MJ
I earned my Walk Tee Shirt!
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