Marino Foundation WalkAbout draws thousands to fight Autism

A beautiful day for the Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism (Photo Courtesy Miami Dade Police)

A beautiful day for the Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism (Photo Courtesy Miami Dade Police)

Congratulations to former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and the 6,000-plus people who participated in Saturday’s Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism!

The Miami fundraising walk raised more than $400,000 for autism research. Among those helping – Marino’s son, Michael, 22, who was diagnosed with autism 20 years ago, and Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland, dad to twin teenage girls autism.

SafetyNet is proud to have been a sponsor of this exciting, successful event.

Friday, as DJ1Tre set up his equipment on the Sun Life Stadium field for Saturday’s Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism, he took in the empty stadium. He’d seen the place full and rocking when his father used to work there. But he found it hard to believe 6,000 people would be on the field Saturday.

“I was out there earlier, it really is 6,000 people. It truly is a great day,” said DJ1Tre, a 22-year-old also known as Michael Marino, son of former Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and a college graduate diagnosed as autistic 20 years ago.

“Mike is a miracle really,” Dan Marino said. “When it comes to a young kid diagnosed at 2 years old, now graduated college, doing great. … I get choked up thinking about it. He’s a good kid, a good kid. Today’s special for me. He’s going to be out there working, doing a little spinning and being a part of this. To know the kind of impact he’s had not only on our lives, but the situation we were in, been able to help a lot of other people. That’s what’s good about it.”

A crowd gathered outside Sun Life Stadium, clad in T-shirts trumpeting their group supporting autism research and care. In one group were the members of Raiders For Autism, representing Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High School. In another group were Otters 4 Autism from Weston Everglades Elementary. Here, there, and everywhere were personally themed teams such as Justin’s Village and Joshua’s Jaywalkers, the latter named for 5-year-old Joshua Corliss.

“He was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago, so we’re here to support the cause,” said Debby Corliss, a Pembroke Pines dentist.

via Marino Foundation WalkAbout draws crowd, raises money to fight Autism – David J. Neal – MiamiHerald.com.

Sargent Shriver Peace Corps Founding Director, Special Olympics Leader, Dies at 95

The world today remembers Sargent Shriver, founder of the Peace Corps, former ambassador, and Special Olympics Chairman of the Board Emeritus, who died Tuesday at 95.

Sargent Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 20003, and his daughter, Maria Shriver, became a visible Alzheimer’s activist. His late wife, Eunice Shriver, founded the Special Olympics, and Sargent Shriver was a leader the Special Olympics, as well, helping it to grow into an international organization. Special Olympics athletes who are trained as public speakers are given the special title Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.

R. Sargent Shriver, the Kennedy in-law who became the founding director of the Peace Corps, the architect of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty, a United States ambassador to France and the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1972, died on Tuesday in Bethesda, Md. He was 95.

His family announced his death in a statement.

Mr. Shriver was found to have Alzheimer’s disease in 2003 and on Sunday was admitted to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, where he died.

via R. Sargent Shriver, Kennedy In-Law and Peace Corps Founding Director, Dies at 95 – NYTimes.com.

Golfer Ernie Els plans Florida autism charity events

Ernie Els now has a charity event for amateurs that will reward fundraising skills as much as good golf, hopeful it can raise upward of $3 million to help build a center for autistic children.

It’s called the “Els For Autism Golf Challenge,” and it will involve at least 32 tournaments across the country featuring two-player teams that qualify depending on how much money they raise for the project.

Els, a three-time major champion and one of golf’s most popular figures worldwide, disclosed in March 2008 that his 8-year-old son, Ben, has autism. A year later, the South African announced plans to build the “Els for Autism Center of Excellence” in South Florida to be a research and education facility for children with autism.

“Years from now, people may remember me as a golfer and a major champion,” Els said. “But I’d like also to be remembered as somebody who took the issue of autism and did something with it.”

via Ernie Els plans charity events for autism.

For autistic boy, a Bocelli concert in Boston

Tenor Andrea Bocelli gave three front-row seats to his show in Boston to a 10-year-old with autism who is a huge fan of the opera star. George Maroun III is non-verbal, but all you have to do is watch him grin and sway in his seat to see how much he loved the Bocelli concert.

BOSTON — An opera superstar, tenor Andrea Bocelli, took center stage at the TD Garden Sunday night in a performance many in the audience will likely never forget.

But it’s what happened backstage with a very special fan of the star that stole the show.

The boy, a 10-year-old with autism, has always felt a special connection with Bocelli and for the Amherst New Hampshire native, and his dreams came true when he got to see the star in person.

George Maroun III, a fourth-grader, has listened to Bocelli every day of his life. He is diagnosed as autistic, non-verbal, and he has never said a single word in his life, not even “mom” or “dad,” but Bocelli has helped him communicate and thrive.

Sunday night, he suited up in a tuxedo and was allowed to stay up late on a school night to attend the Bocelli concert in Boston.

His mother said Bocelli’s music has been magic in the child’s life.

via For Autistic Boy, Opera Is Dream Come True – Most Popular News Story – WCVB Boston.

Rams ex-QB joins fundraiser to tackle autism

During his 12 years in the National Football League, Jim Everett played against top quarterbacks who have autistic children – Dan Marino and Doug Flutie among them.

Everett’s wife, Rachel, has a godson who is autistic. Their close friends Pat and Stephanie McIlvaine have an autistic son, Dylan.

The Everetts and the McIlvains – both couples live in San Clemente – have watched Dylan, who will turn 11 next month, and the Everetts’ daughter, Alexandra, 11, grow up together. Alexandra is not autistic.

“We’ve seen the challenges that Pat and Stephanie have had to make,” Jim Everett said. “We progressed through the years where there’s normal development, and then there’s a fork in the road. It’s a very close personal experience.”Everett is hosting this year’s fundraiser, “Ante Up for Autism,” for Costa Mesa-based organization Talk About Curing Autism, set for Nov. 13 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point.

via Rams ex-QB joins fundraiser to tackle autism | everett, autism – News – The Orange County Register.

Jane Lynch and Jane Fonda bust out the workout moves to help fight Alzheimer’s

Between them they have a combined age of 102.

But watching them bust out the workout moves you’d think Jane Lynch and Jane Fonda were still teenagers. The two Janes took to the stage yesterday in Long Beach, California in front of a packed convention center, as they helped co-host California First Lady Maria Shriver’s women’s conference.

The two actresses are both obviously in top physical shape and they embarked in a vigorous workout, encouraging the crowd to move along with them. It’s not surprising they’re so fit – 50-year-old Lynch seems to spend the majority of her time in sweats these days as she plays a PE teacher on the hit TV show Glee. And Fonda, 72, is a workout fanatic, even producing her own series of top selling workout tapes during the 1980s.

It was a star-studded affair with Peter Gallagher, Soleil Moon Frye, Rob Lowe and Leeza Gibbons all lending their support along with Fonda and Lynch.

Fifty-four-year-old Shriver is a long- time advocate for families struggling with Alzheimer’s. Her own father, Sargent, has battled the disease since being diagnosed in 2003.

Since that time, Shriver has been deeply involved in raising awareness and funding for Alzheimer care and research.

via Jane Lynch and Jane Fonda bust out the workout moves to help fight Alzheimer’s | Mail Online.

Film moves Kate Winslet to start autism charity

Kate Winslet has founded a charity to help people with autism after a conversation with her daughter made her realize the daily difficulties they face.

The Oscar-winning actress narrated the documentary A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, which tells of an Icelandic mother’s fight to find a way for her non-verbal 10-year-old son to communicate.

Winslet founded The Golden Hat Foundation after watching the film with her nine-year-old daughter Mia.

“After watching the film A Mother’s Courage with my daughter one day, she turned to me and asked, ‘What if I wasn’t able to talk to you mummy?’,” she said.

“As I thought about what that meant, for a mother not to be able to talk with her own child, I realised that I had to lend my voice to raise awareness of this rapidly increasing disorder.”

via The Press Association: Film moves Winslet to start charity.

Shriver Report examines impact of Alzheimer’s on women as caregivers and patients

California first lady Maria Shriver is harnessing the power of her prominent California Women’s Conference to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on American women.

California’s first lady uses the awards ceremony to honor humanitarian efforts.

In the lead-up to her annual conference on women’s issues, on Oct. 15, Shriver will join with the Alzheimer’s Association to release a comprehensive study detailing how the devastating disease affects women as caregivers, advocates and patients.

Featuring essays written by personalities from the worlds of politics, entertainment and media, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s” gives an honest and diverse look at the personal, professional and policy dimensions of the disease.

via Shriver Report Examines Impact of Alzheimer’s on Women as Caregivers and Patients – ABC News.

‘Temple Grandin’ on DVD with Grandin commentary

“Temple Grandin,” the HBO movie starring Claire Danes as the accomplished, autistic Grandin, is now available on DVD. The DVD includes commentary by Grandin. The movie is up for 17 Emmy Awards — read about it on Temple Grandin’s website.

Nearly every parent of an autistic child knows about Temple Grandin, the bestselling author and brilliant agricultural scientist who’s been a model for what children on that spectrum can become. Playing Grandin in this HBO biopic, Claire Danes captures Grandin’s braying monotone, stooped posture and default defensive stance to other people, but she also conveys her sense of humor and how she makes connections others can’t.

via New on DVD: ‘Temple Grandin’ – baltimoresun.com.

“Our Son’s Autism Almost Tore Us Apart”

Kismet, magic dust, and French fries all played a part in the courtship of Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete. Or, as Holly says, “It was the fairy tale, after the dream, inside of the storybook.” She was a stunning, successful TV actress most famous for the late ’80s crime drama 21 Jump Street, and he an NFL starting quarterback. He proposed in front of a live studio audience during the filming of the sitcom she was starring in at the time, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.

In June 1995, more than 300 guests attended their California wedding, the Reverend Jesse Jackson presided, and Holly surprised Rodney with an appearance by the entire marching band from his alma mater, USC.

The dream continued in 1997 with the birth of twins, a boy, Rodney Jackson R.J., and a girl, Ryan. But three years  later, Holly and Rodney’s lives were rocked when R.J. began to withdraw into himself and the couple received his shattering diagnosis: autism.

via “Our Son’s Autism Almost Tore Us Apart”.