October 26, 2012

Looking back and Autism Speaks

Excuse me while I live in the past for the next couple of days. I'm making photo books (have to redeem a Groupon ASAP) for the kids, so I'm scanning through the last year and a half of memories. 

Last summer I drove from Alabama to Utah to California with just me and the kiddos, plus or minus a few passengers (relatives not hitchhikers) along the way. 

I forget how gorgeous Utah is with the mountains and the red rock and the Great Salt Lake. The mountains are so giant and wondrous compared to Alabama mountains, and you can actually see them because they aren't camouflaged in trees. 

We stopped for a wedding and took picture taking very seriously. 

And I forced my kids to tour my college campus at somewhere close to 10 p.m. because that's when we were driving through. Not weird at all. You can imagine how enthralled they were. Empty, creepy buildings at night -- thanks, mom. Parenting at its finest, and kids at their bored-est. 

 We visited cousins who we rarely get to see.

Potential best friend cousins. If only we lived closer. 

We healed all of our ailments in the Great Salt Lake. My daughter had a horrible case of poison ivy that disappeared that day. Thank you, salt and minerals of the earth. 

Then we scooted to California to hang out with more family. 

Did I mention they have talents?

Below is my sister sharing one of her for real talents. She carries a wooden board with her wherever she goes in case she needs to bust out a flat foot.

My main talent is finding the most unfamous people on the Walk of Fame

And (fast forward to today) buying food in bulk. 

And talking friends into trying weird herby drinks (that make them want to vomit).

And taking blog self portraits while running. 

Those two ladies to my right are my ace gym running partners. They make marathon training at the gym much (!!!) less boring. The blonde in the blue shirt is Diane, and she's running the New York marathon for Autism Speaks

Her awesome son Jack has autism and is her inspiration for running this marathon. She is not only running a heck of a lot of miles but also raising money to help fund more autism research.

Here are some of the facts. Autism prevalence is 1 in 88 births, and it is the fastest-growing developmental disability with a 1,148% growth rate. That number is just crazy to me. Although it is more prevalent than other pediatric illnesses, it receives much less private funding. The following is from the Autism Speaks site:
Prevalence vs. Private Funding
  • Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
  • Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
  • Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 300 / Funding: $394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
  • Autism: Affects 1 in 88 / Funding: $79 million
Diane is only $300 away from her goal of raising $5,000, and she has one week left to get there. Let's help her reach her goal and help fund research dedicated to the cause, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism. 

Do you know someone with autism? 

Have you ever run to raise money for a charitable organization?