DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Thousands gathered in Doral on Sunday to promote and raise money for autism awareness.
The Autism Speaks Walk, held at Doral Central Park, hit close to home for Nilda Pinon. Whe asked to describe what it’s like to raise a daughter with autism, she said it’s callenging at time, but rewarding as well.
“And she’s succeeding, you know. She’s making her life better,” said Pinon.
The dedicated mother told 7News she and her loved ones felt compelled to take part in the event.
“I have to help her, and we go wherever we have to go, back and forth, but we’ll do it for her,” said Pinon.
Those who have been diagnosed with the developmental disability often have trouble communicating and interacting with others.
But the autism spectrum is complex and large. Some can hold down jobs, drive, and live on their own — while others need care for life.
“Just this week, the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] announced that there’s been a 15 percent increase in the number of people with autism, and it’s really an urgent issue that we’ve got to address,” said Angela Geiger, president and CEO of Autism Speaks.
Sunday’s walk was all about addressing autism, raising awareness and money.
“We need research funding, we need support, we need programs,” said Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “That is why Miami-Dade Public Schools is an indispensable partner to parents in our community.”
And so the work continues to make the world a better place for those on the spectrum.
“There’s a lot of hope, a lot of education and a lot of treatment,” said Miami-Dade Commissoner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, “so we are here to support and hope that information gets out and gets out strong.”
It’s hope shared by participant Gretel Martinez. “It’s hard. It’s something that you have to live with them day by day, but little by little, with all the research and everything that they’re doing, I’m hoping they can find a cure,” she said.
South Florida Ford will donate $5 for every person who posts a photo of the walk on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. All they have to do is use the hashtag #FordForAutism and tag South Florida Ford — @southfloridaford on Facebook and @soflaford on Instagran and Twitter.
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