Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Running for Keelin

This is my sister, Keelin. She is 25 years old and lives in a group home in Columbia, Maryland, about 25-50 minutes from the various other members of our family. She lives in a group home because she is autistic.

She's not like the Rain Man, if you saw that movie. The movie, on its own merits, is good. It is a bit misleading though, because most people who are autistic aren't like the character that Dustin Hoffman played so well. Keelin certainly isn't, anyway. She cannot count matchsticks or play the piano like Mozart, or anything like that. In fact, she only learned to tie her shoes when she was fifteen (praise God!). She really doesn't talk very much, although she does understand - when she cares to - a great deal.

A couple years ago I saw a sign for a "Fourth of July Run for Autism 5k" on July 5th. Naturally, I was very disappointed. Last year, I forgot about it until too late. This year, I am already registered. The road race is sponsored by Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to raising public awareness of autism. For myself, I am not hoping for a magical cure as much as I am hoping that our society will be able to identify and remove the causes of autism, while getting better at recognizing and incorporating those who experience it. The race is a fundraiser for Autism Speaks, and I am running in it to raise money for them because their work so closely matches my aspirations for my sister.

My sister Keelin likes to go for walks and car rides. She prefers classical music to contemporary. She likes horses (and better at a bit of a distance) and swimming. Really, I am running this race for Keelin. I am not in peak shape right now, to say the least, but I figure at least I can go out there and do it.

If anyone would like to make a donation to support my efforts for Autism Speaks and for my sister, I will be greatly obliged. To do so, click here. If you would prefer to write a check rather than make an electronic payment, click here for the form you need to print out and send in with your donation. I don't know that the organizers will tell me who's donated on my behalf, so let me thank you in advance. If anyone else wants to run it, I believe there are still entries available. Click here for their website.

No comments: