Get Your Walking Shoes On!

Posted on September 17th, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

Get Your Walking Shoes On!

By

Denise Koonce OTR

Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys!  In case those figures didn’t sink in I will repeat it.  Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys!  These are staggering and humbling numbers.  The rate of autism cases has grown exponentially now for several years.  Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S. and costs the nation $137 billion dollars per year.  Unfortunately, it receives far less research dollars than many other childhood diseases.  In addition, there currently is not a cure or a medical detection process for autism.  There is, however, a champion fighting for the autism community and it is Autism Speaks!

Autism Speaks was founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright in 2005 a year after their grandson was diagnosed with autism.  Along with The Wrights, their longtime friend Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization.  Since its inception it has become the world’s largest autism advocacy organization.  Their mission is “to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.”  They are also committed to raising the funds necessary to support their mission.  The largest annual fundraiser is their Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  The first walk was held in New York in 2006 with 20,000 participants and they raised $2 million dollars.  The Walk Now for Autism Speaks has continued to grow and in 2011 the walk occurred in over 85 communities in the U.S. and Canada.  Nearly 400,000 people participated and it raised approximately $30 million dollars.

Houston has been participating in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks for the past few years and they are set to hold it again this year on October 13, 2012.  Last year Houston had approximately 9,000 participants and raised over $318,000 dollars.  The Houston Walk also exhibited a Resource Fair with 35 service providers, fun children activities and crafts, and a free throw contest with the Rockets.

We at Reach Therapy Centers believe in the efforts of Autism Speaks because of the benefit it provides to the individuals we serve and their families.  In fact, we first became involved because a patient’s mother wanted to walk but didn’t have a team to walk with.  Henceforth, Team Reach was born.  We have participated every year since.  Last year we raised over $5,600 dollars and had 154 walkers participate.  We have surpassed our fundraising goal and our walker count each consecutive year and we plan to do that again this year.  Come and join our team for a day of fun and fundraising.  If you are without a team and want to join ours please contact one of our team leaders below:

Northwest Clinic – Beth Hancock at ext. 2708 or bhancock@caregrp.com

9220 Kirby Clinic – Andrea Beltran at ext. 2402 or abeltran@caregrp.com

Southwest Clinic – Marguerita Walker at ext. 2721 or mwalker@caregrp.com

Durable Medical Equipment Division (DME) – Nekia Grays at ext. 2467 or ngrays@caregrp.com

 

If you would like to learn more about Walk Now for Autism Speaks go to http://www.autismspeaks.org/  We look forward to seeing you so “Get your walking shoes on!”

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