BENEFITING: For Jakes Sake
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2011
HOURS PLEDGED: 1,000
On November 6, we will be running the New York City Marathon to raise money for an Autism non-profit called For Jake's Sake, Inc.
At 20 months little Jakie was given this diagnosis. His mom Dawn took on the autism challenge like she does everything else, like a crazy person. She convinced work to let her work 1 day per week so that she could spend the other four days getting Jake the therapies that the Dr. told her would help Jake make the most progress. And she did it. For years he gave up naps so he could have therapy all day. The family gave up birthday parties, outings as a family, dinners out and everything else that might be too loud or bright and set Jake off into a spiraling tantrum that could last an hour +. Mom gave up running because she felt guilty taking time for herself that could be spent with Jake or his sister. It was hell, but with intensive therapy Jake made amazing progress. These therapies were not covered by health insurance, the family paid out of pocket for years so that Jake could continue to receive therapies that clearly were working.
Today Jake is 7 years old, and he attends St. John's School in a typical first grade classroom. He is funny, he has friends, he plays on a basketball team and never stops talking. He is also absolutely obsessed with football! Was his progress worth spending our life savings for? Absolutely. However somewhere along this journey it occurred to Dawn that other children with the same diagnosis, who's parents didn't have the know-how or the means to get these therapies for their children, would go without.
So, what are the therapies that children with autism need? Children with autism lack a means to communicate, and most of them benefit from speech therapy. They lack coordination and gross/fine motor skills; these are improved with Occupational Therapy. The need Social Skills groups to help them overcome the awkwardness that can make them common targets of bullying. The groups can enable them to make friends and form meaningful relationships. Some children with autism are only able to learn with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, a specialized method of instruction particularly effective with autistic children.
Insurance copayments and out of pocket costs for these therapies can cost more than the average family can afford. ABA therapy is not covered by insurance and costs $100+/hour, with doctors recommending 20-40 hours per week. A possible $4000 per week! Speech and OT copayments can average $20/visit, with 2-10 visits per week depending on the child's needs.
For Jake’s Sake believes that NO child should be prohibited from therapies due to inability to pay, which is why they will provide qualifying families with needed funding. And, with autism affecting 1 in 84 boys in the US, there are many families out there in need.
If you donate...
Send you a picture message DURING the race of any mile marker you want. Donate $390 dollars and you'll get mile by mile updates.
Write you a personal poem, haiku or limerick and sing it to you.
$40 + mile count
Call you at any time DURING the race with a short update or shout-out. So for example, a near-death phone call at mile 25 would cost $65. I don't think I'll have time or energy at mile 26 though so please stop at 25.
Make you a personalized Shower Hair Art and post it on the web site. You tell me what you want me to make or let me choose.
Call you and sing a verse or two of your favorite song (or my choice if you can't decide). This will probably be in the first half of the marathon while I can still breathe.
You tell me what you want me to do, within reason (and NY laws).
Team For Jake's Sake is running 26.2 miles for children with Autism and would like your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to this wonderful organization, no amount is too small. Checks can also be mailed to: For Jake's Sake, PO Box 3051, Beverly, MA 01915.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. For more information about this organization, please visit www.forjakessake.org. For Jake's Sake, Inc is a certified 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!