Hello, my name is Bethany Black and on Sunday May 6th, 2012 I will be running The Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I am choosing to run my race to benefit The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) because autism is something that is very close to my heart. As a toddler, my young cousin Zachary (pictured with me to the right) was diagnosed with autism. Upon receiving the news, my entire extended family was devastated. However, over the years, my family and I have come to see Zachary’s autism not only as a disability, but as a blessing. From the way Zachary is unaffected by the meaningless, miniscule details of everyday life, to the incredible judge of character that he is; Zachary is an inspiration to us all, on how to live. However, no matter how much of a blessing Zachary is in my life, it still pains me to see the limitations that the disease puts on his daily life. That is why I am choosing to run my race in honor of him; to support research that will enable Zachary and others like him, to better function in the world around them. Zachary makes the world a better place. I would like to repay him by striving to make HIS world a better place. You can choose to donate here online, or you can donate offline by simply giving the money to me. Any and all donations to the cause will be sincerely appreciated. It’s cliché, but true—every amount, does count.