The DC Walk Now for Autism

NYQUIL

Some of you might be wondering why the heck the title of this letter is Nyquil. Here’s why.

In 2010, we discovered a new talent: spelling. Rory spelled everything. from pirates, to underwear, to busy workers.

We nicknamed her the mad speller, because you never know when her words might appear. They became her calling card.

From there, she moved on to reading. Bob would write words from her flash cards on a board and she would tell him what he wrote. And she’d say the word in a derisive tone that implied “of course I know that word is elephant! Duh!“

Then Bob would write a word that she wasn’t on a flash card, and she could read them too.

It’s hard to believe this is the same little girl as before. The same girls whose teachers two and a half years ago told us to get a dog, because nothing was working and there probably wasn’t much hope with her. But we knew she was as smart and stubborn as she is beautiful, and that there would be brighter days ahead. And those days are here.

For the past two years, Rory has attended school 30 hours a week. She has worked so hard. We owe so much to the dedication and patience of her teachers and specialists who have been so instrumental in her progress.

I wouldn’t have believed you three years ago if you told me what Rory was going to be doing in 2010.

There is hope for children with autism. And that’s why we walk. And that’s why I am writing to ask for your support and sponsoring me in the 2010 DC Walk Now for Autism Speaks on November 6th.

Where does your money go? Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness, research, advocacy, and family services for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Since inception, Autism Speaks has committed $131 million to support scientific research, which includes over 780 grants and fellowships into the causes and treatments of autism. These grant monies are designed to produce significant findings that will be reported in peer-reviewed journals and lead to additional research support from government or other funding agencies. The investment in these research grants alone has been leveraged into nearly $153 million in NIH and other funding for the continuation of these scientific studies.

This summer I had the pleasure of hearing Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson speak about “The Breakthroughs Within Our Reach.” Talk about hope! It’s incredible to hear what science Autism Speaks is investing in and where it’s leading!

Here’s where I ask for your support by putting an adorable picture of Rory next to the link for my personal fundraising page:

http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/national/norafitzpatrick

The money we raise at this walk will go directly to help fund advocacy, awareness (which leads to early diagnosis), and toward sound science that will help Rory, her classmates, and all of those affected by autism throughout the world.

Thank you!

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