For those of you who know me or have read my “about” me section, you know that I have a very special place in my heart for individuals with special needs. I am pretty sure this passion developed at a very young age as I grew up with my brother who has special needs. Our family is among the more fortunate families who have children with special needs because Jake is very high-functioning and does not have a diagnosis other than “developmentally delayed”.
I had the privilege of working professionally in the special needs field for about 2 years, and I saw first hand just how many families have huge obstacles to jump through each and every day. In my opinion (and experience with), Autism is among the worst of all developmental disabilities because the manifestations of autism cover such a wide spectrum of physical and mental functioning levels. Anyway…I could go on forever, but I just wanted to mention that there are 2 guys, Robert Williams and Bobby Genese, who are walking across America to benefit families struggling to pay for autism therapy and medical services. They are walking in remembrance of Elias Tembenis, a little boy with autism who died at the age of 6 due to seizure complications.
I heard Bobby Genese on the radio this morning talking about his journey and it is just incredible. Both men started in May 2008 on Route 50 in San Francisco and will end on the Discovery Trail in Washington, DC sometime in late November 2008. That is 3000 miles!!
For more information and/or to donate to their case, check out the following links: