Blog Entries
If Only I'd Known
Category: Articles

By Cristy CashMatt and Cristy Cash

If only I'd known how 2008 would turn out.  Back on New Year's eve 2007 I am sure I made some resolutions; none of which I can remember. I am sure I had some goals for myself - to be better, kinder, richer, thinner. I am sure I had high hopes, but one thing I can tell you for sure; I had no idea that by the end of the year I would find myself in the middle of downtown Honolulu, Hawaii at 5:00 am on the starting line with 28, 000 people for the Honolulu Marathon. How did I get here? I will tell you: Team Autism.org. Here is how it started:

I have a niece, Joy, who has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. I have been so impressed with how hard she works, what a great person she is and how committed she is to learn the skills she needs to be successful. She works so much harder than I have ever had to at social interaction, school and being a good friend. Since Joy has been diagnosed all these years ago her parents have focused on getting her equipped for life. Even when no solutions have been offered for them, they have led the way in finding creative ways to help their daughter; I am sure not unlike any parent of a special needs child.

Team Autism.org caught my ear when I heard about their mission. I was impressed with the fact that the funds I raised would stay right here in Oklahoma and impact families' lives directly. I was impressed with the focus on physical health - which allows all of us to be a better asset to the people around us. I was impressed with the focus on marriages - the offering of an exotic location to have a getaway with your spouse; and more than anything else I was impressed with the opportunity to tie together several things I feel passionate about: helping the community, physical fitness and helping Joy!

My Team Autism commitment was to raise $5,000 and to run a marathon. This was no light task! I have never run a marathon. I am not a "natural runner" and I have never raised that kind of money before! I decided to dive in though and I am so glad I did. Many people stepped up to donate the money - I was even able to raffle a flat screen tv to one lucky donor! The training was tough, but doable! Imagine the "marathon" of challenges that many children with autism and Asperger's syndrome are faced with every day. There were people all along the way who were inspired and inspiring - and I have left this experience with a sense of confidence and the knowledge that we raised $27,000 for the OFCA!

Later in the year I got to the Governor's Office and take a picture with Joy, my Team and the Governor!  I am so proud that I got to be a part of this effort and I plan to do it again soon! So no matter what resolutions you make for yourself and your family each year - keep this in mind: You may find yourself in a tropical climate this year, doing something you never thought you could do, with people around you who have a like cause and commitment and a knowledge that when YOU cross that finish line, you will know that this year turned out right.

Memorial Marathon is a Financial Win!
Category: Fund Raising
The fund rasing goal for this year's Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon team was $4,000.  The actual dollars raised equaled $4,023!

This makes a the total money raised $50,788.89 since TeamAutism.org began in July 2007.  Thanks to everyone who has been a part!
2009 Oklahoma City Marathon Results
Category: Race Results

All 15 members of TeamAutism.org made it to the finish line in the 2009 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  The team raised over $4000 this year taking the overall fundraising total to $54K.  Way to go team!!  Thank you to all of our sponsors this year and the Vallerands for putting together our pre-race pasta dinner.

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