Daniel has been running a lot of his life....perhaps not in the way runner friends and many of us have been so blessed to walk or run:
Running to the library bare-footed
Running to a pool without telling mom or dad
Running to a football field while school was in session
He loves his nephews and nieces.
Disney songs bring a smile and quick glance to you.
Intense 'I love you' hugs are his specialty.
He is 19 and functions on a 4 year old level, mostly non-verbal. He looks normal in a photo, perhaps, and so behavioral outburts in public are often met with increased scrutiny for his age and size. It's a daily and life long struggle for my parents.
Years of PT/OT/Speech Visits, Hydrotherapy, and ABA therapy became a norm growing up for both him and my brother, Caleb.
Daniel is significantly more severe on the autism scale and he is my little brother.
As a sibling, I see the love he has for family and joy he has when we are all together. ...Even in the times when physical manifestations of autism overtake his body.
I think many can relate to that dichotomy of broken hearted and joy when a loved one has a chronic life health condition that brings struggle, financial impact, and yet, small victories over the years. ...As little as increased eye contact or as big as saying, "Mom" for the first time.
I see the need he has to move and run to help with his proprioception and sensory needs - something a part of lifelong therapy he has participated in, my mom has driven him to and advocated for, and my dad has supported in working so hard to support it all.
In approaching a bucket list dream of mine - running a marathon - I cannot help but run for something bigger than a challenge and goal I've had since I was 17.
....Perhaps easier to attain as a teen than a mom with amazingly energetic little kids ;)
In this big dream
I run for my brothers.
I want to run for their peers and families who could use an encouraging place to achieve their own goals.
I want to support a place that is empowering, celebrates diversity, is community focused, and driven by love to serve others - focused on abilities, not disabilities - supporting kids, young adults, and families.
I run for my kids <3 - I am so grateful for them and to get to be their mom.
I run because I love running, great positive friendships, beautiful nature, and for wellness.
I run this distance to challenge myself and work at a goal that I have a lot of respect for. I have so much gratitude, respect, and joy along this journey.
Turnstone is a local to them facility that provides a place for that motor movement outlet they so desparately need. It's an amazing facility that hosts paraolympic clubs and events, support groups, PT/OT, speech therapies and so much more.
*The other awesome thing: it supports families regardless of income or ability to pay, subsidizing services significantly
***All donations through this fundraising page in honor of Daniel Ahlersmeyer will benefit Turnstone's general fund and will be tax deductible. If you are so moved to donate on his behalf, please include his name with your donation. Thank you!
**If the fundraising goal is met, a generous individual will be paying for Daniel's membership to Turnstone personally. Ahh!! Let's do this!
Target Date: October 8, 2017 Chicago Marathon
My primary goal would be $524 - 20 family or friends donating $26.20 for each year of life for Daniel (turning 20 in December)
My stretch goal would be $1,100.40 - 22 additional family or friends donating $26.20 for each year of life for Caleb (turning 22 in December)
Any amount would be a gift to kids at Turnstone - so gratefully and humbly appreciated.
Thank you so much family and friends.
About Turnstone: Turnstone’s Mission is to provide therapeutic, educational, wellness, sport, and recreational programs that empower people with disabilities to reach their full potential in every aspect of life.
Turnstone is guided by the Vision that one day, people will live, work, learn, and play in a world based on their abilities, not their disabilities. Turnstone is an active leader in the development of services for people with disabilities and their families.
1141 children and adults benefited from rehab, PT/OT, speech, health and wellness 65 children impacted through class programs
100 adult day programs
1111 children and adults impacted through case management and support groups
Individuals and Diagnoses Impacted by Turnstone:
Overview of Services: Founded in 1943, Turnstone offers a wide array of programs, including sports & recreation, adult day services, memory care, an in-house preschool, health & wellness programs, therapies, and specializedequipment to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities. As a designated Gold Medal Paralympic Sports Club, Turnstone’s state-of-the-art facilities host sports and recreation programs for health, wellness, and competition on a regional, national, and international level, includingwheelchairbasketball, wheelchair tennis, power soccer, sledhockey, curling, rugby, goalball, and boccia.
Turnstone is a nonprofit organization serving more than 2,200 children, adults, and families in Northeast Indiana annually. Thanks to the generous support of thecommunity, Turnstone offers programs and services at a reduced rate to 95% of the people it serves.
The following support groups are offered at Turnstone:
Caregiver Support Group
Fort Wayne Amputee Support Group
Parent Support Group
Parkinson's Support Group
Parkinson's Caregiver Support Group