The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On Sunday, October 10, 2010, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream. 10-10-10, the date to motivate.
My personal dream is not to run a marathon, but a world without autism. I decided to register for the 2010 Chicago Marathon and Run for Autism by supporting OAR, the Organization for Autism Research, and my daughter.
As you know, our Abigail was diagnosed with autism at age 3. I thought my world was going to end. My perfect angel had this "thing" I was told we couldn't fix. That was just not acceptable to me. We were going to fix it. So, we went to work.
At age 7, Abigail is an excited second grader at Country Meadows Elementary School. She is a brownie girl scout. She rides horses. She dances tap, ballet, and jazz. She was Pepper in the production of Annie Jr. at the Metropolis Theater this summer and can’t wait for her musical theater class to start this fall. She runs races, swims laps, and enjoys a spa day at Sweet & Sassy. She is more than amazing.
But there are many days when the reality of autism smacks you in the face. Abigail has social challenges most kids don't have. Watching her interact with other kids in an unstructured activity can be painful and heartbreaking. The looks she gets from others is often too much to bear. "She looks so normal, why does she act so different?" My greatest hope is that Abigail gains the social skills and confidence needed to make best friends. These were the cards she was dealt, and we are so proud of how hard she works and how far she has come.
More research must be done to help children, adults, and families affected by autism. Treatments need to become accessible to everyone. All families should be able to help their child reach their fullest potential.
This is why I ask you to support me as I again try to beat Oprah's marathon time in this year's Chicago Marathon. Last year, I beat Katie Holmes, it's time to step it up a bit! Raising autism awareness is an even more important task now that one in 110 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum. Abigail is so blessed, I can only wish that all families affected by autism can see great potential for their child. Please consider becoming a part of our team.
If you would like to donate to “Team Abigail”, or the “A-Team”, as my friend Paula dubbed us, it would be much appreciated. There are two ways to contribute. You can send a tax deductible contribution made payable to Organization for Autism Research (OAR) in care of: Allison Hertzberg 19909 Stone Pond Lane, Long Grove, IL 60047, or donate here on my fundraising page.
Thank you for visiting my Personal Fundraising Page. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a contribution to my fundraising efforts. Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Much love and happiness to you and your family. Thank you for taking the time to consider donating to my marathon effort!
The Hertzberg Family
♥ Allison, Dave, Abigail, and Zach