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Boy with Autism Given Heroism Award for Saving Elderly Woman's Life

October 01, 2013

Karson Dieter, a 12-year-old boy with autism who rescued an elderly woman from a pit bull attack in Visalia, Calif., received a national award for heroism from the Boy Scouts of America Sunday night.

Emojean McDonald, 80, said she is alive today because of Dieter, who grabbed a stick and raised it over his head when a neighbor’s pit bull attacked her last year while she walked to her mailbox. The dog bit Dieter and then ran.  

A humble Dieter credited the stick with saving McDonald's life and said he just wanted to fit in like other children but his act of heroism set him apart. He received the Honor Medal for Saving Life at a local Boy Scouts meeting in Visalia, which is in the San Joaquin Valley of California, west of Sequoia National Park. “In the 30 years that I've worked for the Boy Scouts of America, this is the first time I've helped in presenting this medal for this level of heroism,” said John Richers, CEO for the Boy Scouts of America Sequoia Council.

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