2019 Toronto

Matthew and Michael Stellato

Please join our family once again this year as we walk to raise funds and awareness for Autism. As most of you know both Matthew and Michael have been diagnosed with Autism and both have their own very unique challenges as a result of their diagnosis. They also both have made incredible strides and have surpassed the very high expectations Maria and I had set for them and they continue to amaze us every day with their unique strengths and abilities. This will be our 9th walk and over that time you have all helped us raise over $166,000. We are extremely grateful and blessed to have your support but we need you more than ever this year and into the future.

MMaria and I have always said that we very strongly believe that early intervention and therapy were the keys to setting our boys on their current paths. While we had the ability and blessing to be able to afford private therapy until such time that they made their way to the top of the Ontario wait list, many families are not so lucky and have to wait many years to receive coverage. With the recent changes set forth by the provincial government the amount of funding families will receive is going to be drastically reduced. This will leave many families either scrambling to find funds or having to reduce the number of hours of therapy their children so drastically need. Organizations like Autism Speaks Canada will have to play an even bigger role in advocating for these families and for providing services to children in need. This means we all need to look deeper at this issue and find the time to make a difference. I know everyone has a cause that is dear to them but this is an issue that will not only affect the families living with the diagnosis but that will have rippling effect on society well into the future. Children with autism become adults with autism and they will need a place in our society that accepts them and that cares for them. The natural order of life is for a parent to predecease their children. As a result every parent who has a child with autism lives with the worry and fear of what will happen when they are gone. Will they be happy, will they be safe? While we realize as parents that it is our responsibility to care for our children, as a society we have a responsibility to care for each other, especially when our government forgets its responsibility.

Please take the time to do whatever you can to donate to this very important cause.
Thank you all

The Stellato Family
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