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Final Word: Thank you, KTAR listeners, for your generosity

KTAR listeners are awesome. You care and when you see a need in the community, you respond.

Not that we give you much choice, mind you.

From 5 a.m. Wednesday until the D-backs game at 6:10 p.m., we hounded you. We brought you story after story, statistic after statistic, and interview after interview about how autism has affected our community.

How 1-in-64 Arizona kids will get a diagnosis. How each day, someone’s family in your part of town is changed forever when a doctor tells the parents “your child has autism.”

Getting a special needs diagnosis is never good news. I remember getting a phone call that my daughter had a neurological condition that she would never over come. I remember the doctor telling me that I should find a place for Laura where people could properly take care of her incredible needs.

I remember thinking the floor was falling away and I was falling with it.

I remember being very sure that I wouldn’t survive. And parents get that same kind of feeling every day when they are told that their baby has autism.

They think they’ll never get to take that child to his first day at school or a friend’s birthday party.

But then someone tells them about the Southwestern Autism Research and Resource Center and everything changes.

Their kids get early intervention, encouragement, tools.


And slowly, sometimes painfully slowly, those kids begin to reverse the downward spiral they are in. As they do, so do Mom and Dad.

SAARC was born because one very smart and determined mom decided that for her son, Matt, a diagnosis simply wasn’t enough. She rounded up her smartest and most passionate friends and began to build the center that is now the premier research and resource center for families with autism in the nation.

Denise Resnik and Dr. Raun Melmed, you are brilliant. You keep the floor from falling away when a family gets news they can’t begin to understand.

For my family, the Foundation for Blind Children, United Cerebral Palsy and Phoenix Children’s Hospital were those lifesavers. They have my undying gratitude.

Every day in the Valley, agencies like these do the unseen, lifesaving work to keep families together and thriving through the worst of times. And yesterday, you, KTAR listeners, gave back to SAARC to the tune of more than $350,000.

Thank you.

But don’t let that generosity ever stop, okay? Keep giving. Find that cause that moves you, whatever the reason and give.

Give your time, give your money, give your voice. Because those agencies are the safety net for families that save them from the day they never saw coming.