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Calls to Action

Running for a Reason

New England Father Raises $12,000 for Autism Research
April 23, 2007

Peter Hanson is a man on a mission. With each mile he runs, this devoted father knows we are one step closer to solving the autism puzzle.

Hanson has enjoyed running as long as he can remember. It helps clear his head, and keep him in shape. But what keeps this Woburn, MA man going the distance is his 13-year-old son, Connor. Hanson recently finished his fourth Boston Marathon in honor of Connor, who has autism, to benefit National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR). He raised more

than $12,000 this year with the support of family, friends, and his community.

Hanson sent out 200 letters to people, explaining his reasons for running. “Almost every single person responds with a donation”, says Hanson. “It's amazing”.

Connor is now in 6 th grade, doing well in a special-needs program at his public school. Hanson can't believe how far his son has come since his diagnosis—figuratively and literally. This year was the first year Connor actually came to the marathon to help cheer on his father. But Hanson admits each

day remains a challenge for Connor and their family. Big sister Ashley is 17 and a big help to Peter and his wife, Mary.

“Connor is my inspiration not just on marathon day, but every day”, says Hanson. “I get up at 4:00 a.m., so I can run before work, and it's worth it. Connor and the other children are the reason I train so hard. NAAR is doing great work, but so much more needs to be done”.

In the past four years, Peter Hanson has raised more than $42,000 for NAAR. Talk about inspiring!

NAAR thanks Peter and all of his supporters for making this donation possible.