Residents enjoyed the nice weather and helped raise money and awareness of autism for the city’s annual walk at Zane Landing Park.
This is the fourth year for the walk which is put on by the National Autism Association of Southeast Ohio. In the state, autism is not covered by insurance which really hurts families dealing with the disease.
"We just wanted to come up with a way to raise money so that families could afford the treatments because these kids can get better. You don’t have to live with autism all your life. Now you might, I’m not saying you can reverse every case but you can improve the lives of these kids and these adults," said Shannon Coconis, President of the National Autism Association of Southeast Ohio.
Ninety percent of the money raised today goes into the association’s grant fund which goes directly back to the families, while ten percent is given back to the national organization. Not only does the walk raise money for awareness, a support group is formed between those who attend.
"Being able to talk to someone else. It might not be somebody that you hang out with but when you get with them, it seems like you know them because you have so much in common. It might be only one thing, maybe autism is the only thing you have in common but that encompasses such a big part of your life that you feel like friends, you’ve been for so long which is nice," said Coconis.
The association offers three different grants to families, and the applications can be found on their website http://www.naaseo.org/