My name is Libby Fink and I'm the proud mother of 4 wonderful kids ; Connor -20, Riley-13, and Gracie-8 and Kane 4. My kids inspire me more than they will ever know and I'm the luckiest mom in the world to have them. In 2006 my son Connor was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at age 7 and I was sent off on a long and wonderful journey. He was lucky to be blessed with many different teachers and therapists to help him grow into the young man he is today. Connor is now 20 and is a Junior at Iowa State University. He's overcome so much over the years and has taught me not to quit when things get hard. He has many life goals and I know he will achieve them all because he works so hard. I couldn't be prouder of him. When he was diagnosed there was not any inspiring stories I could read to make me believe that he can grow up and achieve his goals and dreams. He had to work hard to make his own inspiring story. One that I share with anyone who will listen. Life is hard for everyone some just have to work harder than others but all can achieve. He has certainly proven this to me time and time again.
In 2008 my other son Riley was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months old. Riley didn't speak until he was 4 yrs old and had many obstacles in his way. These obstacles never stopped him, he just plowed through these and still continues to do so. Riley is now 13 and he is a fighter and has determination to succeed no matter how hard he has to work. He was also very blessed with so many wonderful teachers and therapists to help him get to where he is today. I think back about how far he has come and see so much hope for the future. There is nothing you can't achieve without believing in yourself and continuing to work hard.
In 2011 my daughter Grace was born and the boys just fell in love with her. She's the luckiest sister to have her brothers looking out for her and guiding her through life. She's the perfect combination of both of them. Growing up with Connor and Riley has taught her compassion empathy, toughness, no quit attitude, and the way she defends them, and cares for others is inspiring in itself.
Kane, the last member enjoys spending time with his siblings and cheering them on at their activities. He continues to learn so much from his siblings (some not so good too lol) and loves them fiercely. He keeps Team Fink laughing and has the kindest heart.
My kids have taught me so much about life and how to see things differently. I am so blessed to have my children in my life and I thank God for them everyday. My kids fuel my determination to try new things. I started running 13 yrs ago and got hooked. To be honest I first used running as an escape from Autism for a little while. I needed a break and my running was my time to myself in which I never thought about anything at all. As time went on I realized that I didn't want to run away from Autism and I actually wasn't after all for my kids were the ones asking me: "How was your run?" "How are far did you run?" "What was your pace?" as soon as I walked in the door. They were the fuel behind every run. I actually was held more accountable for my training because my kids were so into knowing all these things, which helped me set and surpass my goals. I decided I wasn't going to run from Autism and decided to Run for Autism. On October 11, 2020 I will be setting out to complete my 7th (8th) Chicago Marathon. On that day I will put on my Team OAR slinglet and think about all the people who donated their time and money towards raising awareness and funding research for Autism! Go Team Fnk! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah Please help me support Organization for Autism Research by making a contribution to my fundraiser and sharing this page with your family and friends. Every dollar I raise will advance Organization for Autism Research's great cause!
WHY RUN FOR AUTISM? 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. By joining the RUN FOR AUTISM team, you’re supporting OAR’s mission to fund research and resources that help people with autism and their families today.
Here are some of the ways that OAR uses the funds raised by the RUN FOR AUTISM team:
$10 provides a Curriculum in a Box professional development set to general education teachers. $25 provides 15 copies of A Guide to Safety to families and first responders. $100 provides the Kit for Kids peer education resource to an entire elementary or middle school. $150 provides 100 copies of a Life Journey through Autism guidebook sent to a community support group or military installation. $1,000 provides a research grant for a graduate student studying autism. $3,000 provides a scholarship for a student with autism to attend college. $30,000 fully underwrites an applied research pilot study.