For those who have known me for the last 15 years, this may come as more than a little surprising!
Since the beginning of 2018, I have embarked on a programme of losing weight and getting fit in order to complete this challenge - which was the only way I was allowed to Vegas this year! So far I have lost 5 stone, with the goal of losing at least another 3 and have, with 4 weeks to go, reached a personal best of 7.5km in one go! Suddenly 10km doesn't feel that far away..... I always said that there was a fit person inside me. My Dad claimed that there was two!! But that is enough about me, it is all about the wonderful young people supported by the Lothian Autistic Society.
I am the first to admit that I did not know anything about autism until my amazing little brother Chris was identified as being autistic. What I know now is very simple.... These young people are awesome individuals! I remember being amazed and a little amused at the way everything was ordered and piled up. How things were collected and repeated. There is now much more amazement and very little amusement at the achievements Chris has reached. The way in which he ordered his toys has been replaced by a methodical way of sketching and planning his furniture building. The way things were repeated have been replaced by his ability to learn his highway code and pass his driving test. All of this is down to his determination, skill and his no fear attitude to life. It is the continued development of these young people which means so much to me, to them and to our family. People are different and always will be, but that should never stop them having as much opportunity as the rest of us.
Lothian Autistic Society is a member-led, person-centred charity. They provide services, information and practical support to individuals on the autistic spectrum, their families and carers in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Individuals, families and carers receive high-quality support through developing projects, services and new initiatives that meet their needs. This includes respite schemes, social clubs for children and young people with autism.
People have said to me over the last 9 months about what an amazing effort this has been for me and how proud they are that I have taken the intervention I have. But this has taught me one very simple thing. It is nothing compared to the amazing effort these young people make every hour of every day to be the talented and amazing individuals they are. When I put my mind to it, I have, or will have, run 10km.... It is a relatively small sacrifice to help raise money for young people who have more determination, talent, drive to succeed and who deserve all the opportunity to develop further.
All I would ask is that you dig deep and donate. If you are impressed with my effort, then thank you, but it isn't about me. It is about all that wonderful support you will be giving to a local charity doing great work, with amazing young people. They deserve your recognition far more than a still overweight, not quite middle aged, slightly more attractive man who hasn't run for a bus in 15 years!
Thank you for reading and thank you for donating.
Lots of Love,
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