BENEFITING: OPTION INSTITUTE AND FELLOWSHIP
EVENT DATE: Nov 03, 2013
Cassie Leventhal wrote -
This fundraising page fulfills a promise I made to an incredible woman and her family, back in September of 2010. For those unfamiliar with the way the NYC Marathon entry works, there are two ways to run - lottery or charity. Getting in on lottery has been quoted to be, "Like Mega Millions, with slightly better odds" (CBS), with an average 9% acceptance rate from an entrant field of 90,000+. Or, you can fundraise on a charity bid with an "official NYRR sponsored charity" that guarantees you entry if you raise a certain amount of funds (usually $2,500+ minimum).
By the grace of (insert whatever you may believe in here), I became one of the 9% and got in on lottery. With my lottery bid, I am choosing to fundraise for a charity with a lot of heart and soul that has helped grow a child close to me and is not represented in the "athletic charity bid circuit": The Son-Rise Program which is a powerful, effective and totally unique treatment for children effected by autism through holistic methods instead of medicinal alternatives.
Before moving to Thailand in 2010, I was blessed with the opportunity to have an experience with an amazing child. Jacob has a severe form of autism where he can't communicate via words, but rather by looks and gestures. His body also can't process wheat so Jacob must live a gluten free life.
Regardless of these hurdles, Jacob remains one of the smartest, most communicative and loving person that I know. He holds no judgement nor prejudice, and always has a smile on his face. Jacob loves spending his time in the playroom, creating music on drums. He's probably the most active kid I know as well, finding joy in exploring Herring Creek, learning to surf in Quitsa Pond and of course, running.
Jacob and his family live year-round in Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard. His parents Derrill and Jo-Ann are 125% committed to providing Jacob the best life possible. Being so far from mainland, they do not have fast access to the support centers or year-round volunteers needed to help raise Jacob. In spite of that, they are dedicated in making sure Jacob grows up in a loving and supportive community. Their loyalty to this tenet--no matter what challenges approach--is beyond inspiring. Through the Son-Rise Program from the Autism Treatment Center of America, Jo-Ann and Derrill have taken on the task by themselves, with unconditional love and a smile.
After seeing their day-to-day challenges first hand, please help me in this cause by raising the much needed money for autism research and support. Autism is a challenging disease that attenuates many, yet science and society still know so little about. In the close to three years since, Jacob has made outstanding progress with the Son-Rise Program and can now spell his name by picking the right letters from a box.
I'm asking everyone to please help solve this puzzle with a small donation of $20 (aka 4 drinks from Starbucks!), but anything lower (or higher *wink wink*) will be greatly appreciated. My goal is to raise at least $2,620.00 - $100 for every mile of the race.
Thanks friends, friends of friends, co-workers and family for taking the time to read and donate. Jacob and I are thrilled and looking forward to November 3rd - NYC residents feel free to cheer from the sidelines :)