A Second Thank You
As is often the case with non-profits, they aren’t the most technologically savvy organizations. That said, we just got the total list of donations for the autism walk, so this is the big thank you/group hug email.
In 2008 we raised over $4500.00. As they during NPR pledge drives, this was in large part due to you on this email.
In all seriousness let me get a bit sappy here -
Demetrius was diagnosed as autistic in 2003. As many of you who regularly read the blog, you know how this condition impacts our lives. You’ve been on the end of tough discussions on the phone, you’ve left me alone and allowed me to close my door and work quietly in the office, and you’ve inspired me to keep going, keep smiling, keep my head up on the toughest of days.
Lets be real also, its taken a few years off of both of our lives as we have had years of working with a little boy who simply didn’t respond to questions, had language that was all but unintelligible (when he did try to communicate) and couldn’t complete many of the simplest of tasks.
Today, well, today Demetrius is a mainstreamed first grader; going on to second grade; who sings to himself Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s out for the summer’ as we get closer to the end of the school year; who ate yesterday at the Iron Movie with his friend Christopher: two buckets of popcorn, a sour gummy worms, beef jerky and washed it down with a lemonade. He attempts to play soccer (he gives it a try, it’s all we can ask), he puts caterpillars in his sister’s purse and he spends a lot of time trying to figure out the pass code to the parental controls on the TV.
What I’m getting at is that in so many ways, he’s emerged from his shell and is very much a regular little boy, and we couldn’t be prouder of what he’s become.
But he does have a long way to go, and will always have it tougher than we do just getting through the trials and travails of every day life.
The dollars you donate don’t directly go to helping Super D, today. Maybe some day a ‘cure’ or a better methodological approach will be developed to help these kids, and adults, live in our world more, and less in their own. That’s why we harass you for money, that’s why we drive to midtown at 6:45am on a Saturday morning to walk (or try to walk, as it were the case this year). Yes, Autism right now is cause celeb, but having gone through the heart wrenching pain, let me tell you it is very real, and very hard. And lots of families, and children have it worse than we do, and this money goes to help them, their families, their therapists, their doctors and medical researchers.
But it isn’t about just the money, it is the fact that each of you were willing to vest a bit of yourselves in the cause of this little boy, that makes our days a little brighter, our smiles a little wider and our hearts a little warmer. So think of your gift as doubled then, the money and the hope that it brought to the Grassos.
Again, we thank you for everything,
Jerry & Kim