Saturday, November 07, 2009

Walk Now for Autism Speaks

I am quite pleased to announce that Team Dylan, named on behalf of my autistic cousin Dylan, raised over $700 for the 2009 Walk Now for Autism Speaks! The money goes to research and resources for families affected by autism.

From left to right: my cousin Joie, Shaylee, Nils, myself, Uncle Johnny, Dylan, Aunt Julie, cousin Jag, Tammy from New Day Christian Church, and Shayla- a friend of the family's daughter

Here is a little background about Dylan and his condition in a letter that was handed out to members of my church, family and friends to raise awareness of autism and why we decided to walk:

He is 13 years old. He was born on February 29th, making him a Leap Year baby, has brown hair and the longest lashes of anyone I know. He loves action figures, computer games, and Pizza Rolls, whales and dolphins. Looking at Dylan you would never know that he has a debilitating disorder known as autism. Autism affects every aspect of Dylan’s life…and the lives of everyone around him.

Dylan has come a long way since his diagnosis in 1999, at age 3. Since then, he has learned to speak, to read, to hold a conversation with some help. But for all his intelligence, Dylan still cannot interact with others the same way as other children his age. He has trouble processing the world around him and may forever be dependent on others to help him function as an adult as autism is a lifelong neurological disorder that impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Only 7% of children with autism go on to be independent. With twin younger siblings and an older brother and sister, his family has a lot on their plate and as hard as it is to focus on their daily lives, they find it hard to imagine what the future holds for him. We can only trust that God has a plan for my family and especially for Dylan and other children who are challenged by autism.

This year my grandmother, family, and I will be participating in the 2009 Walk Now For Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest walk program dedicated to autism research, in honor of my cousin. We are asking for as much support as possible and would be honored if you would join our team and make a donation or walk with us on Walk Day. We realize there are many charities that vie for your attention, but any contribution, large or small, will be greatly appreciated.



Saturday, November 7th Estero Community Park

Time: TBA

As always, thank you for your consideration, support and prayers.

There was a lot that showed up to support Autism Speaks!

The ribbon cutting ceremony

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