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Posts Tagged ‘ING NYC Marathon’

Going Rogue

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Follow up to MSTFNSH…..Huh?

Glen Finland is the author of Next Stop: A Son with Autism Grows Up, due out from AmyEinhornBooks/Putnam in April 2012.  www.glenfinland.com

The way we see it, Sunday’s New York City Marathon couldn’t have gone any better for runner #21871.

David Finland entering Central Park West toward the finish, NY Marathon, 11-6-2011

As always with this young man, there were some surprises along the way. Early on, my 24-year old son David Finland suddenly threw it into high gear and “ditched” his Team Achilles guide at Mile 5, leaving behind his phone, ID, and Metro pass somewhere inQueens. Then family scouts spotted him looking strong and really happy at Mile 16. Fine enough.  Around Mile 18, an eagle-eyed someone from Special Olympics texted us that she’d seen him moving along at a fast clip; then another Achilles team member caught sight of ol’ #21871 strutting his stuff through Harlem…before Our Dave finally crossed the finish line into the capable arms of his original guide, the remarkable Chris Cavan. By the way, Chris must have worked some kind of miracle, bringing him home to us safe and sound in a swift 4 hours 20 minutes.

So what’s the takeaway for us? This young man has proven something that we have been longing to see from him for his whole lifetime. The way he ran his race on Sunday made believers out of of us all. That’s right. Our David no longer needs a “guide.” This was his personal best any way you look at it.

David Finland with his brothers at the Achilles Reunion area on W. 72st., NYC

In Their Own Words – Why I Run for Team Autism Speaks

May 14, 2010 5 comments

I am the proud mom of twin boys – James (pictured at left) and Emmett. My son James has autism; my son Emmett does not not.

James was diagnosed at 23 months with autism.  We started noticing around 15 months that Emmett’s development was making leaps and bounds; James’ was not and he was losing words. My little boy lost his smiles,  his babble and became disconnected from us. Possibly the most painful thing a parent can ever experience.

As the years went by, I needed an outlet to deal with the stress and I had been a runner throughout college.  I also had a little boy, who because of his disability,  could never stand still and ran everywhere. We were constantly sprinting across playgrounds, parking lots, and streets, because James was always running.

I decided I needed to stay in shape so I could always run with James. And I started running.  Four marathons and several half marathons later, I’m still running. I’m not running fast,  I just can run.  And I can run with James and for James.  I can do the ultimate multi-tasking for any mother – raise awareness, raise funds for autism research and help my child.

In the photo above, Emmett is the little boy to my right.
My husband is next to him and my good friend Karen is in front.

Space is quickly filling up, so if you  would like to run with a group passionate about raising awareness then we want you to Team Up with Autism Speaks for the ING NYC Marathon 2010 please visit http://events.autismspeaks.org/nycmarathon for complete details.

This “In Their Own Words” essay is by Nancy O’Brien of Elmhurst, Ill.

If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

In Their Own Words – Why I Run for Team Autism Speaks

April 29, 2010 5 comments

I am proud to be running the 2010 ING New York City Marathon as a part of Team Autism Speaks, and hope that my contribution to this organization can inspire others to think outside of themselves. 

I do not have a child with autism and it is impossible for me to understand what day-to-day challenges individuals with autism and their families face.  However, I know that we are all but one diagnosis away from our lives changing forever, and those families that are handed this diagnosis are suddenly faced with a challenge that might seem daunting. 

My 14-year-old daughter, Megan, has severe spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. My father, in an instant, four years ago, fell off a ladder and became paralyzed from the waist down. I take care of my daughter at home and then work with my father at our family-owned business. I see them both struggle with their everyday lives and know it isn’t easy.  My life changed in a moment, and theirs did as well, when their own diagnosis was handed to them. Accidents happen, ladders fall, babies are born prematurely. We are all susceptible to whatever is next, good or bad. Team Autism Speaks strives to provide a solution to this – by raising awareness, searching for a cure and closing the gap to the unknown.

Why did I choose Team Autism Speaks?  I realize that just because my daughter and father are disabled doesn’t make me any less likely to have a friend who has a child with autism, a niece or nephew who might be diagnosed, or know a person in our community living every day with it.  

I will spend this summer and fall training for the ING New York City Marathon, a dream I never thought I would achieve when I first laced up my running shoes around the time of my father’s accident. Through the years, I have felt that I run because my daughter and father cannot. Now I will run because, perhaps, I can make a difference to those families who live, struggle and thrive with an autism diagnosis; may my small 26.2 mile journey be but a large step in overcoming one more developmental disability. We do not know what is around the corner, but I would like to help lead the way.

Space is quickly filling up, so if you  would like to run with a group passionate about raising awareness then we want you to Team Up with Autism Speaks for the ING NYC Marathon 2010 please visit http://events.autismspeaks.org/nycmarathon for complete details.  

This “In Their Own Words” essay is by Timmesa Eads from Mt. Airy, N.C.

If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

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