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Wellington Riera's Fundraising Page

Wellington Riera

Wellington Riera

What is Autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Why am I running for autism?

My baby sister, Allison (8), was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 2. She is nonverbal and faces a variety of challenges learning and communicating with others. Despite her daily struggles, she brings joy everywhere she goes and helps me be a better person every day.

Born at just over 1lb 4oz, Allison spent over 20 weeks in the NICU before she was allowed to go home. Overcoming these challenges and odds, Allison has taught me just how powerful the human spirit is and what it can overcome.

I run to spread awareness and acceptance of autism and to raise money for an organization that focuses on improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families through applied research and resource materials.

By enlisting in these endeavors, I hope to attain a fraction of the strength and resilience Allison has. I am hoping that the race day pain and suffering will help me empathize with the challenges that Allison and all individuals with ASD face every day.

Any support is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Update: Thank you to everyone that helped me reach my initial goal of $3,000!


raised of $4,000 goal


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