Autism Speaks Walk Raises $450,000

CC BY-NC-ND by iFireDesign

CC BY-NC-ND by iFireDesign

West Palm Beach, Autism Speaks Walk — “Phe’s Fairies” consisting of a group of 35 adults and children walked in support of Phoenix Hart,6 who has autism.

Phoenix’s sister, Payton, 12, a student at Bak Middle School of the Arts said that she posted about the walk on Facebook and that 3 weeks later they had raised $1,200.

It was estimated that more than 7,000 registered walkers would raise $450,000 from the Autism Speaks event held on March 2nd.

Autism Speaks was founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright after their grandson was diagnosed with autism.

Suzanne Wright recently returned from an autism summit in Washington, D.C.

“The prevalence numbers for autism are shocking. This is two percent of our children.”

Patricia Rivera of Wellington led “Team A.J.” consisting of 64 people on behalf of her son who is “on the spectrum.”

The Palm Beach Post report that she said:

‘few people understand the toll autism takes on families. It can cost $50,000 a year for the physical, occupational and speech therapy autistic children require, although 34 states, including Florida, require insurance companies to cover autism care.’

She adds that they get started at in public and that bullying is common and that they hardest part is trying to get her 13 year old son to fit in.

“I always feel like I have to explain him to people.”

Nancy Jennings led a 150-person team, “Team Tanner” and raised $7,000. She was inspired by her grandson, Tanner Davis, 7 who has pre-verbal autism.

She said:

“We’re doing this help the families, yes, but most of all, it’s to one day find a cure.”

The original article by Barbara Marshall in The Palm Beach Post can be read here