Please help me support the Michael Lisnow Respite Center
My daughter Emma is 7 years old with blond hair, blue eyes, an infectious smile and a terrific laugh. She’s a very smart 2nd grader and she loves playing with her big sister Erin or playing computer games or watching kids shows like Arthur and Phineas & Ferb or running around the playground or going on a bike ride with her Dad. She loves playing with her Lalaloopsy dolls and getting “squeezy”/snuggling hugs or giving and receiving lots of kisses. She loves doing her math homework but doesn’t always enjoy having to read books. So she’s a typical 7 year old except she has Autism (PDD-NOS).
She was diagnosed in Jan 2008 and our family life has not always been “routine” or easy but we were lucky – we have had a wonderful support system of close family who have always selflessly helped us. We’ve encountered school educators who have gone above and beyond their jobs to help us give Emma extra services as well as help us navigate the world of IEP’s (individual education plans) that define exactly what your child needs in order to succeed in school. And with these wonderful people in our lives, Emma has continued to thrive and we feel extremely fortunate for all of that.
On April 15, 2013 I am running in my 1st marathon EVER - and it's Boston - on behalf of the Michael Lisnow Respite Center. I wanted to combine my love for running with the experience of running Boston but I also wanted to raise money for a worthy charity that was willing to take a chance on me.
So when I first started researching the opportunity to run for a charity, I knew that I wouldn't just sign up with any charity. Their mission had to be a cause that meant something to me.
As I started reading about the respite center, I realized that their cause was something that I was familiar with - families struggling with a child with special needs or disability and how it affects their lives and changes any “normal” everyday routine. The center is a place where you are welcomed and they don't judge you because of your special need or disability - they embrace you because of it.
The mission of the Michael C. Lisnow Respite Center is to create a home away from home for children and adults with disabilities, a place that offers parents time off from the emotional and physical care needed by their children. The Respite Center provides intensive support services for families including childcare, after school care, adult day programs, overnight respite care, supervised residential placements and community employment supports.
There is an old saying that I will paraphrase “To those whom much has been given, much is expected”. I try to live everyday thinking about that quote because I feel extremely grateful to have the family and friends that have supported my family. And because my family has been given “much”, I feel it’s now my time to give back to other families who have not had a great support system and have not been as fortunate. Those families that struggle everyday to survive and try to thrive to overcome their adversity.
Please support my efforts to raise as much money as possible for the Michael Lisnow Respite Center. Any amount you can give is appreciated (please see specific amounts to the right of what your generous donation can provide). Thanks for your support and see you at the finish line!!!