Hundreds Walk to Raise Money for Autism

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Katie, Cayden and Jordan all live with autism spectrum disorder.

“Not very good, not very fun and you stutter trying to explain stuff,” said Katie.

“It’s been very interesting for me trying to figure out how this works, been very interesting,” said Jordan.

Their lives are filled with challenge and adventure, but on Sunday, they could be themselves.

“Being different is okay,” said Jordan.

It was their first time taking part in the 9th Annual Autism Walk Northland.

“Support the cause,” said Jordan.

“Have fun,” said Katie.

“Buy cool items,” said Cayden.

Their strategy along with many other teams is to either walk seven or 14 laps around Denfeld’s track, taking steps closer to awareness and acceptance.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Jordan and Katie’s mom, Carrie Ezell. “I think it should be a lot more things like this for the kids to raise money for them I think it’s great.”

About 600 people showed their support, raising more than $130,000.

Funds from the walk will go directly towards autism programs in local schools.

“Schools have used it for curriculum for kids with autism, stand up desks for our kids,” Autism Walk Northland co-chair Kim Seguin said. “They’ve bought sensory items and other things that the schools can’t afford for the kids that our kids really need to be able to be successful.”

Event coordinators tell FOX 21 while so much is being done, the need is still great.

“I think there’s always room for improvement in every school,” said Seguin. “Really pushing that bully-free zone and making it mandatory because things happen to our kids that are unacceptable.”

For anyone with autism trying to navigate their way through life, team ‘Different Not Less’ has some advice.

“As long as you try you can pretty much do anything,” said Jordan.

“Accomplish anything when you try,” said Katie.

Each of the teams designated which school or center they want the money raised to go to.
 

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