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Why I Walk - To make a difference! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 View Comments

After seeing first-hand the struggles Autism brings on children and families, I walk!

I have been an avid Autism Speaks supporter for five years. I fundraise year-round by gathering support for a fundraiser I started called Ridin’ Hawg Wild in Lexington NC. This all began in 2009 when I started researching ways to fund Autism research. Why you ask? My son, Sammy, was diagnosed with Autism at age four.

He has a huge support group full of family and friends. This group was more than willing to pull together to help any way possible. All of our proceeds from Ridin’ Hawg Wild go to the Greater Charlotte Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

I am proud to announce each year the positive ways Autism Speaks is changing lives. Because of our fundraising efforts, the community has jumped on board and people know who and what Autism Speaks is all about. Our fundraiser will carry on and is in its 5th year! We are proud supporters!

In 2012, my daughter Melany and son Sammy embarked on a new chapter of our lives. My son is not only Autistic but Blind as well. With North Carolina having only one school for the blind, we moved to the Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill). Upon my relocation I came to find out “What? No Walk Now for Autism Speaks here?” The opportunity is high and what better place to get things going! Now we are hosting our inaugural Triangle Walk Now for Autism Speaks!

People say “Things happen for a reason.” This shows that to be very true. My children and I moved away from everyone we know, friends, family and our community. We look forward to making a difference here by spreading the word and we are ready to walk!


A – Abundance of Love

U – Uttering wonderful Sounds

T – Teaching us to Listen

I – Inch by Inch

S – Special moments in our Family

M - My love for Sammy Jones


Mandy Jones is the Walk Chair for the Triangle Walk Now for Autism Speaks (Raleigh, NC). She is also the Team Captain of Autism Warriors.


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The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.