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?

19 comments:

  1. One of my alternative medicine contacts has a son with autism and I pray for both of them quite often.
    Yes, Utah is indeed beautiful. I'd like to run the St. George marathon some day but wish it was later in the year. It's currently the 1st week of October so that means that the heart of training is during the heat of summer.

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    1. Thanks again for the articles you sent.

      That one is on my wish list too. I almost wish my first marathon of this season had been a few weeks ago, so maybe that would work for me!

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  2. Personally I don't think it's weird at all to make your kids explore your college campus at all hours of the night. We try to do that regularly and just did it a couple of months ago:) My kids actually love it, they're older and really want to go there for college! Anyways, love all the pics and those stats on autism are crazy! Didn't realize it was so prevalent. Scary! Good luck to Diane:)

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    1. Maybe when they get older they'll care more. My daughter just recently started saying how hard college is. She's 9. Not sure where she got the idea from that college is so hard.

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  3. Wow! I had no idea that Autism was so underfunded! That is crazy. I have a co-worker whose son has autism and another co-worker who used to work for Autism Speaks. It is a great organization!

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  4. I should say autism research is so underfunded, not autism. :)

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  5. I've worked with kiddos on the Autism spectrum and it is awesome that your friend is doing that!

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  6. i had no idea that autism had so little funding! i actually try and fundraise for TNT at least once a year. debating on my 2013 race now.

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    1. That's great that you race with them. I need to get out and do more charitable racing.

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  7. I have a couple of friends who have a child with Autism. A 1/2 marathon I did raised money for the arthritis foundation. I have done so few races (8) and a lot of the races where it goes to charity are 5K's and for some reason I have yet to race a 5K. There are so many conditions that are severely under-funded and it's so unfortunate that money isn't being spent on these conditions that affect so many people.

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    1. You started big on the races! I think the 5K was one of the last distances I raced. I agree that there are so many things out there that need funds.

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  8. I can lose hours looking at pictures from the past. Those were some great pictures. If you were passing through Utah again, I'd beg for a meet up! I have a friend with a son with autism. Those are some wickedly unfair stats.

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    1. Yes! I'm not sure when we will do it again, but looking at the pics made me want a to take a family road trip.

      It's just crazy how much the prevalence has increased, but researches still don't agree on the cause.

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  9. You rock running buddy. Thank you for your support and encouragement both in running and in fund raising for autism. When Jack was first diagonosed the stat was 1 in 10,000. That was 16 years ago and now it is 1-88. Staggering. I am blessed with Jack and honored to be running for him and 5 other particular children I know and for the awesome organization Autism Speaks. I love your pictures of the adventure with your beautiful children, your a wonderful mom.

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    1. That is just hard to imagine that something that has grown that fast still doesn't have an agreed upon cause in the medical community. You're an amazing mom, and you're lucky to have Jack in your life -- just like he's lucky to have you!

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  10. All those happy and smiling kids make me smile so much!

    That's wonderful about your friend raising money for autism. Good luck to her at the marathon!

    I'm loving your blog so I'll be stalking (err following) you now! :)

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  11. M ran for a charity in January when we ran Tinker Bell. It was her first half mary so it was also amazing she also ran for a charity! My son's uncle has a mild case of Autism. He's such a sweet boy/man! :-)

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  12. As prevalent as autism has become it's hard not to know someone affected. I really hope your friend is able to exceed her goal!

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