BENEFITING: TRAIN 4 AUTISM
ORGANIZER: TRAIN 4 AUTISM
EVENT: 2015 LA Marathon
EVENT DATE: Mar 15, 2015
The 2015 Los Angeles Marathon is just around the corner. Training has started and I am excited as ever. Last year, as I trained and participated in the marathon, I asked for your help in helping raise funds and awareness for Autism. Many of you stepped up and contributed with either a donation and/or kind words of encouragement. Several also confided in me privately that you believed your child is also on the spectrum and because your awareness was raised you decided to have your child diagnosed.
Sadly, for whatever the reason, the number of children born with autism continues to rise…now 1 in every 68 children. We need, now more than ever, to continue to raise awareness, promote research and create resources for persons and families who are affected by Autism.
As many of you may or may not know, several years ago my youngest son was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). We learned PDD is a condition that falls under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I was proud to train for and run last year’s LA Marathon, and raise funds in his in his honor. It was my third marathon and, for various reasons, the toughest. Nonetheless, I finished and was proud to hang my finisher’s medal around my son’s neck.
This year I will be running in honor of Jorgie and Nick. Jorgie and Nick are the autistic sons of my cousin Laura. Nick who is 19 and Jorgie who is 8 are healthy and doing well. Although they have some behavioral difficulties, my cousin Laura and her husband (Jorge) are hopeful that the therapies they participate in will help them with safety and with them being more comfortable in social settings.
Nick attends a Transition Program through the Whittier school district and his family is proud of what he's been able to accomplish through this program. He works part time at Marshall's, Meals on Wheels, Rio Hondo Day care, and attends the YMCA once a week. Although he always has an aide with him, he is able to take direction and complete tasks on his own. He is also learning how to order and pay for his own lunch. He also uses his IPad for most of his communication. On weekends, he enjoys staying at home to play on the computer, IPad or watch DVD's.
Jorgie has had some behavioral issues this past year, but his family is working on strategies that will help him feel more comfortable. He is in a good program that provides flexibility when needed. He enjoys being outdoors, and playing on the swings and playground. His favorite subjects are recess and lunch :) On weekends, he enjoys playing outside and going to the park.
Jorgie and Laura go on their weekly Target shopping excursions on Saturdays where he still insists on getting in basket and being pushed. It doesn't leave Laura much room for shopping, but it eliminates the risk for a minor tantrum. He sits in the basket with his Goldfish crackers and juice, and is as happy as can be :) Jorgie and Laura continue to bond on their weekend outings, and they really love their time spent together.
As you can see Laura and Jorge know firsthand, the struggles and challenges involved in raising, not only one, but two children with autism. Despite the challenges, their family is close and their house is filled with love. Laura and Jorge are doing an outstanding job and I truly respect and admire what they have accomplished. I will be proud to run The 2015 Los Angeles Marathon in Jorgie and Nick’s honor.
This is where I am again reaching out to my family and friends. Please consider contributing to my Train 4 Autism fund-raising account. All funds raised will go towards Laura, Jorgie and Nick’s favorite Autism charity. No amount is too small. Simply click on the link to my fund-raising page and be part of the effort raise awareness and continuing the advances that will improve the lives of those affected by Autism.