Friday, April 30, 2010

Meet my friend, Bradin

Today is the last day of April. And April is Autism Awareness Month. So, for my final blog of this month, with his mommy's permission, I am going to introduce you all to my very good friend Bradin.

I first met Bradin shortly after he was born. You see, I worked with his mommy and his aunt, at a social service agency, which coincidentally is the same place I started getting involved with Autism Awareness. This agency served many individuals with Autism in many different capacities, and it was my supreme honor to work as a case manager to many many fantastic families who worked very hard for their loved ones who had been given diagnoses on the Autism spectrum. So, at this agency, I met Lindsay. She quickly became one of my closest friends at the agency, and when I left there to work somewhere else, we stayed in touch, and I have had the privileged of getting to watch her beautiful family grow over the years.

This is a picture of Bradin. Isn't he handsome? Over the years, I have watched Bradin grown from a cute little baby, to an inquisitive toddler, and now an adorable little boy. And, he is a wonderful big brother to Alex, Lindsay's other son. Lindsay and her husband Al are wonderful parents, who love their little boys, and consider them gifts from God.

Recently, Lindsay and Al were informed that Bradin has been given a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Rather than sit back and be sad, they have become warriors, champions for their child. They have already started fighting, tirelessly, to get the services and supports that Bradin will need to help him continue to be successful, and the bright, happy, loving child we all know him to be.

In addition, the family is getting involved with Autism Speaks, and has signed Bradin up for the 2010 Walk Now for Autism Speaks. This is where you have an opportunity to help, not just for Bradin, but for the thousands of kids diagnosed with Autism. You have an opportunity to make a tax deductible charitable contribution to the walk. If you go to this page you can donate to Bradin's team for the walk. Once you make your donation, you will be given a tax number to make it tax deductible.

If you can donate, please consider it. It can help make a huge difference in the lives of these children, I have seen it first hand. And not just these children, but the children to come that will be diagnosed.

If you can not donate, please consider doing something else to raise awareness for Autism. These are not just a collection of diagnoses, these are children, who want to run, and jump, and go to the movies, and play sports, and attend summer camp, and have sleep overs with their friends. How awesome is it that you have the opportunity to help make these things happen for them?

Thank you Lindsay, for being my friend, and letting me be a part of your family's life. And thank you for allowing me to tell the world about my friend, Bradin. I love you guys.