This will be the third consecutive time for me and the second for Andrew to run the London Marathon for the National Autistic Society. We have decided that this year we will set a new challenge of 2 marathons (London & Newport), that is 52.4 miles in a week.!
We are very aware that this is going to be a MASSIVE challenge but when we consider the challenges that face individuals with autism and their families on a daily basis - we are more than up for taking this challenge on.
We have started back training, Andrew has done so well to lose 8 stone in weight over the last 18 months and although we are both anxious about doing the 2 marathons in 1 week, we are both determined to achieve it, whether he drags me around or I drag him!
The reason we fundraise for the National Autistic Society is because my son and Andrew's nephew Josh was diagnosed with autism in January 2017. He is undoubtedly our reason to run. We would not change Josh for anything - he is a clever, kind, happy boy with a wicked sense of humour. He loves numbers and shapes and is a big fan of bowling. Josh is doing so well at School, learning to read and write and proving to be a popular little boy (especially with the ladies). However, autism still faces him and us as a family with daily challenges that we work hard to overcome whether it be at home, in School, on days out or the support that is available. To us Autism may mean different but it certainly doesn't mean less.
We are extremely lucky to have supportive family and friends and to live in a community where people have embraced autism awareness and for that I am so, so proud and grateful. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of awareness, opportunities, support and acceptance. I (along with lots of other families) have experienced first hand how stressful it is to fight for the support that is needed at School and home, to feel judged and most prevalently I have seen the challenges that Josh faces every single day in terms of sensory overload and anxiety. He can find it very hard to make sense of the world around him but he takes these challenges head on and we want to do the same. We want to show Gracie, Josh, Logan and Scarlett Rae that if you work hard enough - you can achieve anything you want. We want to show them that we will always support them and this is our way of supporting Josh.
The National Autistic Society provides support for Josh, for us as a family and also to many other families that are in similar situations. They provide trips and activities that we may find hard to access during mainstream sessions. They also offer support and provide lifelines for families. They raise awareness of autism and fight for a better world for children and adults who are affected by autism..
Thank you so much for reading our Reasons to Run - we would be so, so grateful for any donations regardless how small to help us to achieve our targets. We will be organising lots of events in the run up to the Marathons and would love to see you there and also to hear any suggestions of ways that we can raise funds and awareness.
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