Friday, April 8, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month... Did you know that?

Perhaps you are curious why I will be participating in Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Well let me tell you…

Their names are Liz & Allen.

Allen for as long as I have known him has been diagnosed with Autism. A diagnosis like that for any family is life changing and can be to put it mildly, terrifying. Liz has looked at Allen’s diagnosis as another adventure in their life together. When you see Liz with her son you can not help but to feel inspired. Her dedication to him and his life is nothing short of extraordinary. Where other mothers may feel defeated or without hope Liz carved her own path. She has had Allen in classes and therapies since he was very young. She has never missed an opportunity for her son to succeed. Allen not only speaks in sign language but now can also speak using his words. The first time I heard him speak he was 4 years old and I almost cried. I by no means want to take away from Allen what he himself has accomplished but someday he will look back and realize that his mother was not only his biggest fan but also his saving grace.

Not only has Liz embraced her sons diagnosis and created an incredible world for him she has now also created an autism support network where this incredible woman helps and spends time with other mothers and their children with autism. If someone knows how to nominate someone for a noble peace prize, please let me know. Her compassion, passion and drive for her son to succeed has not only helped her son but is beginning to help the community around her.

I can only pray that in my own way I can be a tenth the mother that Liz has been to her son. She faces prejudice, misunderstanding and difficulty everyday. She does it with a smile on her face and the ability to keep fighting for what is important. My appreciation and love for them and everything they go through is why I will be participating in Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

What you may or may not know is that Autism is the second most common developmental disorder in the United States affecting one in every 110 children born today. Despite some promising discoveries, the cause of autism is unknown and a cure does not exist. Research is crucial. Every 15 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. Not only must we find ways to improve the quality of life for children and adults with autism, but we also must find a cure, and soon.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is our chance to make a difference in the fight against autism by raising money for autism research and heightening public awareness. Please join me in my fight as I raise money to help fund essential research. You can donate to Walk Now for Autism Speaks and/or join my team online using the links at the bottom of this page. Donations can also be mailed to Autism Speaks using the donation form located on my page or send me a check made out to Autism Speaks.

Please join me in my fight to make a difference in the lives of the more than 1 million Americans living with autism today.

Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Autism Speaks 501 (C)(3) Tax Id #: 20-2329938