To my friends and family,
As most of you know, Alex and I have been blessed with two beautiful children. Lula, a vibrant nine-year-old; and Finlay, an energetic and loving seven-year-old who happens to be autistic and non-verbal. One of the simple things in life that we all take for granted is our voice and ability to communicate with ease. Finlay, like many who have autism, struggle greatly to communicate and express themselves, and it’s just one of the many daily challenges he endures.
I first became aware of autism when my son was diagnosed at the age of two. There was fear, questions, concerns, thoughts, confusion… Was this my fault? Was it my son’s fault? What will happen to my baby? It was quite a fearful time in my life, and only when I began to educate myself and my family about autism was when my fears began to settle. In today’s society, there is still a tremendous lack of awareness of what autism even is. However, we can all make a big effort to help spread awareness, and raise funds for autism research, and educate ourselves and children to accept people with autism into our normal society. At this given moment, there is no known cure for autism.
Alex and I have always wanted to do something for Fin and the autism community, but we never really knew what exactly that was. I was recently introduced to Julien and Michelle, the founders of Kulture City (https://www.kulturecity.org) through one of my Muay Thai buddies, Erin Fairbanks, a contributing broadcaster at Heritage Radio. We met for brunch on one of the hottest days of this Summer to share each other’s stories, and it sounded like both of our sons were similar in more than a few ways. There was a moment of relief to have finally met another family who knew exactly what we were enduring with Finlay. From the school system to marriage, to juggling careers, to having a second child, and to everything else that life sometimes throws at you that seems unfair.
Later that week I had received a text message from Michelle asking me if I can run. My reply was “Yes, I can run… Why?” She was inviting me to join the Kulture City Team at the New York City Marathon on November 6th. I really wasn’t sure what to say. I had never run more than 12 miles at one time in my life, let alone thinking how could I run more than 26 miles. Michelle expressed “Our kid’s lives are not a sprint, but a journey. It’s about the endurance.” I couldn’t say no to Michelle, and I couldn’t say no for Finlay. This will be one of the most enduring tests on my mind, body, and soul; but at the end of the day it’s about representing my son, and all of the children and adults that don’t have a voice.
With the heaviest heart, I’m asking you to please join me by helping me raise funds for this incredible organization and wish me luck on my first marathon.
How to donate:
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With Gratitude and Thanks,
Butterfly, Alex, Lula, and Finlay
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