Thursday, December 17, 2009

My 22nd Birthday

I turned 22 on Tuesday. Dianne and Elaine get me a cake at the Roadrunner Party. They give me a gift card from Source For Sports and Rose give me a year of Canadian Running magazine.

On the birthday I got a Wii game, new shoes, Olympic mug and $250.
Tuesday night I went Wendys for supper, running group and bowling and then Death By Chocolate cake.

Thank You for the gifts and all the "happy birthday" on Facebook and the TDISC blog.

I had a very good year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Olde Charlottetown Christmas Run & Party 2009

The Road Runner Christmas Party and 5km run at Queen Charlotte Armories. The biggest turn out ever for the Christmas party and join by Tdisc 5 Santas raising money for Charlottetown families for Christmas. It was cold and windy and -9 degrees and wind chill of -20 degrees. The figure 8 course on Victoria Park and Old Charlottetown with Christmas lights along the way and back to the Armories for chili, and snacks.



"On December 12, all five members of Tdisc will participate in the
“Ole Charlottetown 5k Christmas Run.”
Each member will be dressed in a full Santa Claus costume (beard and all).

In doing this, Tdisc will seek pledges/ donations that will go towards gift packages for local families. All of the proceeds raised will go towards these gift packages."
http://bloggingwithtdisc.blogspot.com/

Dianne and Elaine surprises me with a birthday cake with my torch picture.

Thank You for the cake and the presents
Dianne, Elaine and Rose!


It was Jamie's Birthday turn 47 years old.
Happy Birthday Jamie!


My birthday on Tuesday I'll be 22 years old.

I had a very good year!

This the last RoadRunner run of 2009, I see you all in 2010!

Olde Charlottetown Christmas Run & Party 2008
Jingle Bells Run & Christmas Party 2007



Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance, inclusion, awareness

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CBC Interviews - Autism Search & Rescue, challenges & strategies

Our deepest sympathies go out to
James Delorey's family, friends and community


CBC contacted me the morning of December 8th, after James had been found in thick brush and snow, two days and nights after following his dog Chance into the woods near his home in Cape Breton. James had been airlifted to the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax in critical condition suffering from extreme hypothermia. They wanted to do a story on "the challenges or strategies that could be involved in searching for a lost person with autism" and because Alex and I had given a training session to PEI's Ground Search and Rescue volunteers in January, they hoped I could provide that information.

Moments before the interview began, Kerry Campbell got a call informing him that James had died. He relayed that information to me. As soon as he left I sent him the following email, part of which he shares in the TV News interview.

Hi,

Just so you know..... I could acknowledge the news of James' death or do that interview but not both. I wish I could have expressed my sympathies at the time but then you wouldn't have your interview.

It's good that parents of Island autistics will know that PEI's Search & Rescue members have autism specific training. Especially now.

Thanks

-j
The interview resulted in the following CBC TV Compass News Interview (2:27) and CBC Radio Island Morning interview (6:47)





For more information on Alex's ID bracelet, click HERE



I'd like to repeat some thank you's
I made in that post after our January presentation:

Thank you Phil for inviting me. Thank you Dennis for supporting & advising me and for sending me your yet-to-be-released First Responder video to show, and getting it here, just in the nick of time. Thank you Brian for your moral support and wise contributions. Thanks too to the SAR guys who took care of the technical end of things for me today. And to all the volunteers who make up PEI's Search and Rescue - thank you for today's great discussion and your kind words of feedback afterwards. Thanks especially for the work that you do and the work that you are prepaired to do. I hope you learned some valuable things today but I also hope you'll never have to put any of that knowledge to use in a rescue and/or emergency situation.

Thank you for helping us make PEI a better, safer, place for all autistics.


Monday, December 7, 2009

PEI Roadrunner’s Christmas Party And 5K Christmas Fun Run


PEI Roadrunner’s Christmas Party
And
5K Christmas Fun Run

Saturday, Dec 12th

Run start: 6 pm
Social : 7 pm
Registration @ Queen Charlotte Armories at 5:15 – 6:00 pm
{Corner Haviland & Water streets-Army Tank in front yard!}
PEI Roadrunners{Free} & Guests {$10.00 chg }
Chili/Munchies & Beverage
Draw prizes


Since it will be dark when we run,
a flashlight/glowstick & plenty of reflective clothing
are suggested


To ensure sufficient food for all, please RSVP by Wed, Dec 9th
Judy West 894-9936 jalmwest@hotmail.com
OR
Bethany Lucas 566-4062 bplucas@eastlink.ca


Olde Charlottetown Christmas Run & Party 2008

Saturday, December 5, 2009

13th Annual Souris Turkey Trot

It was cloud and 6 degrees.

The Souris Turkey Trot at Souris school.

The figure 8 course on parade route and along waterfront.

Mark and Kelly McCosham were top male and female.

I finished in 22:01 and came in 7th out of 56 runners.

I wore white tracksuit from torch relay.

Chef Miachel Smith's pea soup for refreshing at Bluefin.

Next week The Jingle Bell Run at Roadrunner Christmas Party last run of 2009.

Official Result: 7th out of 56
5K in 22 minutes, 1 second

More Photos
Photos by Sherry Pauley

Parade Photos by Sherry Pauley and Kay Rose and Shane MacLure





Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance, inclusion, awareness

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Saturday's Race - The Souris Turkey Trot

Souris Turkey Trot
(13th Anniversary)
Saturday December 5, 2009
5K Fun Run

Starting Time
: 1:25 p.m.
Registration: 12:15 p.m. at Souris Consolidated School
Fee: $5. for kids, $10. for adults
Contact: Donna Campbell-Dixon 357-2714, Sara Deveau 687-3067 devmac@pei.sympatico.ca
Course Description: Run the parade route just prior to the Santa Claus Parade

Wrap-up social with munchies and prizes at the Bluefin at 2:30 featuring Chef Michael Smith's Pea Soup.

Turkey Trot 2008 ~*~ Turkey Trot 2007 ~*~ Turkey Trot 2006
Turkey Trot 2005 ~*~ Turkey Trot 2004


Turkey Trot Photos 2004-2008

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=307909&sc=98
Weather outlook good for Souris Christmas Parade


EDITORIAL STAFF
The Guardian

Weather conditions will be good for this Saturday’s annual Christmas Parade in Souris. The only thing missing will be snow but organizers expect the good spirits to more than make up for that. Pictured are some parade participants from last year. Submitted photo
Weather conditions will be good for this Saturday’s annual Christmas Parade in Souris. The only thing missing will be snow but organizers expect the good spirits to more than make up for that. Pictured are some parade participants from last year. Submitted photo

SOURIS — The longest-running Christmas Parade on P.E.I. will celebrate a 29th anniversary here this Saturday when the town’s citizen of the year joins Santa as a guest of honour.
“It continues to shine year after year,” says Chrissy Conohan, one of the organizers of the Dec. 5 event.
“The weather seems to be with us, although two years ago it went ahead in a blinding blizzard.”
This Saturday is calling for a mix of sun and cloud but plus-degree temperatures should guarantee no blinding blizzards when the parade gets underway at 1:30 p.m.
Those attending the parade are encouraged to bring a donation for the food bank and the
P.E.I. Humane Society and items will be collected along the parade route.
Souris is in full seasonal gear with Christmas activities planned for both today and Friday as well.
Along with Santa Claus, handling the guest of honour duties will be Harvey Carter, who was named Souris 2009 Citizen of the Year and is designated parade marshal.
Carter, who works at MacIntyre House, is one of the most well-known faces in the eastern port town and is always up and down Main Street helping out and running errands for local business.
“A day doesn’t go by with Harvey stopping in to say hello,” says Conohan.
Over 100 floats are expected in the parade including antique cars and tractors, horses and other animals, mascots, the Christmas penguins coming from Mount Stewart, and six marching bands, including one from Moncton.
“We get folks coming from across the Island and as far as Tignish.”
The parade concludes with a free barbecue at the Sportsplex for the parade participants and an open canteen for the public.
Today, there will be interactive story and craft night from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hall with a small admission to cover materials and a Christmas Present Bingo at the Eastern Kings Sportsplex.
The booklet bingo (bring your dabbers) starts at 7:30 p.m. and is a fundraiser for the rink operations.
The Christmas craft and gift fair goes Friday from noon till 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. at the Matthew M. MacLean building.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet The Torchbearers - Alex Bain


Coke has a webpage
"
Meet The Torchbearers"
at http://www.icoke.ca/liveolympic/shinealight?map=torch_bearer

If you click by the little Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island,
you can read an edited version of the essay Alex wrote
that won him his spot with Coke as an Olympic Torchbearer:


Lately, far more than "about 200 people per day" have been visiting
this blog. So far this month, there have been over 10,600 visitors.
The graph below shows the week surrounding his Sunday Torch Run.

1,023 visitors checked out this blog the day of Alex's Olympic Torch Run.

On another Coke page,
"
Meet Some of our Torchbearers" at the Coke Newsroom,
on the November 22nd page
http://cokenews.ca/torch-relay/meet-the-torchbearers/november-22nd/

Coca-Cola Torchbearers – November 22nd

Alex Bain

Hometown: Oyster Bed Bridge

Carrying Torch: Winsloe

Alex Bain is autistic, he runs for autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion. Bain has always been active and particularly interested in running. He joined the track and field and cross country teams at school and the RoadRunners Club in P.E.I. He trains through the week, year round, alone and with a group.

Bain has won many awards for his participation in running: rookie of the year in 2004, inspirational runner of the year in 2005 and the Bluefield High School cross country award of distinction in 2005.

In 2006, Bain ran a half marathon a day all across P.E.I. on the Autistic Celebration Run to raise awareness and train law enforcement and first responders in autism recognition and response. Bain has begun mentoring an autistic student with running and typing. He reports his runs on his blog; Runman. Bain carries the torch to celebrate active and diverse Canadians.

~*~

You can see who the Coke Torchbearers are at
http://www.icoke.ca/liveolympic/torchbearer-winners

You can see who the RBC Torchbearers are at
http://www.carrythetorch.com/search-by-map.html
(you can also search by 'name' or 'date')

Saturday, November 28, 2009

T'was the Month Before Christmas Run/Walk For Christmas Families

Santa & Gord lead warm-up


It was sun and cloud and 10 degrees.

T'was The Month Before Christmas Run/Walk For Christmas Families at UPEI. The fundraiser for UFIT Cares Foundation.

David Gallant won the race on new course and Rebecca Pike for the top female. Steve Reeves won the 5km race and Kelly McCosham for the top female.

I finished in 42:31 and came in 6th out of 36 runners.

My brother Ben ran the first road race since St. Patrick Day Run in 2006
and completes the 5km run.

Thank You Cheryl for bring me a poster from Philadelphia Marathon where Cheryl and Pam set PBs. Congratulations!

Thanks John for a book "Born To Run".

Next week I wear my Olympic Torchbearer tracksuit at Turkey Trot at Souris.

Official Result: 6th out of 36
10K in 42 minutes, 31 seconds


T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2007
T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2006


Ben's finish -----------------------------Santa and Torch

Athena, Dianne, Alex, Cathy, Ewen, Rose

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance, inclusion, awareness

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paralympic Games organizers seeking torch bearers

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Paralympians Karolina Wisniewska (left) and Brad Leanna model Paralympic torch and torchbearers uniforms for the 2010 Paralympic Games.

Paralympians Karolina Wisniewska (left) and Brad Leanna model Paralympic torch and torchbearers uniforms for the 2010 Paralympic Games.

Photograph by: Ian Lindsay, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER - It's not nearly as long or requires as many people as its Olympic brother, but on Friday the organizers of the 2010 Paralympic Games began accepting applications for its own torch relay.

Starting March 3 in front of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and lasting 10 days as it traverses through 11 cities, the Paralympic Torch Relay will need 600 people to carry it across the country.

Three of those torchbearers have now been named, but the Vancouver Organizing Committee said is looking for many more and has opened an online application process to look for those candidates.

Like the Olympic torchbearer selection process, applicants for the Paralympic relay will have to give organizers a reason to pick them. In this case, it will be to "describe why they want to be a torchbearer and how they embody the Paralympic values in their everyday life," Vanoc said in a statement.

Two of the torchbearers named Friday are from Vancouver; Anne Bethune, the president of the Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports and who has been involved with the Disabled Skiers Association for more than 20 years, and Al Etmanski, the co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network.

Vanoc also identified amputee runner Rick Ball of Orillia, Ont. as a torchbearer.

Bethune was chosen as the first torchbearer for Coca-Cola, one of the two co-sponsors of both the Paralympic and Olympic relays. RBC, the other co-sponsor, picked Etmanski.

John Furlong, the chief executive of Vanoc, said each of the 600 torchbearers will be "individual sparks, adding to the brightness of the Paralympic Flame as it travels towards Vancouver."

Unlike the Olympic flame, which was lit in Olympia, the Paralympic flame, a relatively new phenomenon, has no ancestral home. For that reason it will be lit in an aboriginal-themed event on Parliament Hill involving torchbearers representing every province and territory.

In announcing the relay route and torchbearer selection process, Vanoc also confirmed it has added Toronto - Canada's largest city - to the relay. It is not known why it was left off the list in the first place, but Gary Lunn, said the relay will stop there on March 5.

Most of the relay will be in B.C. The torch will leave Ottawa on March 3 and go to Montreal before heading to Toronto. From there it will jump to Victoria and Esquimalt before heading to Squamish for the start of a circle tour from Whistler to Lytton, Hope and Maple Ridge before hitting Vancouver on March 10-12.

The last day it will say in downtown Vancouver before heading to BC Place for the opening ceremony.

Ball, who hopes to compete for Canada at the 2012 London Paralympics, said he was honored to carry the torch..

"When I took up competitive running two years ago I never dreamed I could be a part of something like this. I know it's often said that dreams can come true if you work hard, but these athletes...they're living proof of this," he said in a statement furnished by Vanoc.

For entry details, go to yougottabehere.com

jefflee@vancouversun.com

Local Seafood Guru John Bil meets Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler

This official Olympic Torch Relay video by Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler features fellow runner John Bil - not running with the torch but in his role as "local seafood Guru" serving up oysters at the Ship to Shore. Looking good John!

"Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler follows the Olympic flame across Prince Edward Island to the celebrations in Charlottetown! During his journey, he meets with locals that show him a sample of what PEI seafood is all about!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Olympic torch lights autistic boy's dream

Alex is not the only autistic Torchbearer in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Thirteen year old
Mackenzie Allan will get his turn to carry the flame on Day 62 - December 31st at 1pm in Barrie Ontario.

Like Mackenzie's parents, Alex's parents also
"hope other families touched by autism can embrace kids' potential despite the numerous challenges".

When Alex wrote his winning essay to Coke, he asked that, as an autistic and a distance runner,
Coke pick him to "represent and celebrate active and diverse Canadians".
We'll be watching and celebrating Mackenzie's run too!



http://thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2187994

Olympic torch lights autistic boy's dream

Torchbearer's parents hope other families touched by autism can embrace kids' potential despite the numerous challenges

Posted By RAYMOND BOWE

Mackenzie Allan could sing the lyrics to O Canada before he could even talk.

So it's only fitting that the 13-year-old autistic boy, who lives in south Barrie, will be one of 12,000 people to carry the Olympic torch in the coming weeks leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

For his parents, Brad and Catharine, it's also a dream come true, seeing their son's progression effectively taking him to the world stage. He has overcome learning difficulties and frequent meltdowns -- even sitting still had been a challenge.

Mackenzie's father submitted Mackenzie's name for the Torch Relay and was selected in July when the family was camping at Algonquin Park. He will carry the torch for 300 metres on Dec. 29, beginning at 1 p. m., from Midland Town Hall to the local RBC branch. The special warm-up uniform arrived last week.

The torch will be in Simcoe County on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30.

Mackenzie said he feels "pretty good, happy and excited" about the opportunity.

"The reason we're doing this is for the parents," Catharine said.

"When you get the diagnosis, you feel like your life is over. To parents, I just want to say, 'Don't give up. Work with your child.'" "Sometimes autism is scary," she added. "The world is getting better with (how it responds to) autism. We have to get along and the Olympics is about everybody."

Mackenzie's parents don't expect he will become nervous during his leg of the relay.

"He likes the limelight," said his dad. "Don't give him a mic."

Mackenzie was diagnosed at about 30 months old, when the family lived in Sioux Lookout. His form of autism is considered high-functioning.

"It took a long time for him to speak, but everyday he would hear O Canada (at school)," said Catharine, a registered nurse in Royal Victoria Hospital's emergency department. "He started singing the words, but we hadn't really had him talking.

"We were almost in tears, so O Canadareally meant something to us," she added. "It was hope. He was saying the odd word, but it was very limited. And then it just took off."

The Grade 7 student at Algonquin Ridge Elementary School still has some difficulty speaking, "but he really is a miracle child," said his mom.

Mackenzie was like any other child until he was two years old, when his parents noticed changes in his social skills. They began wondering whether he was deaf.

"It's pretty hard, as a parent, to watch that," said Brad, a biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources. "Your kid goes away and another one comes back."

The Allans put everything they had into Mackenzie's intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) treatment and it has worked for them.

"I can't dream big enough," said Brad. "He's come a long way. Now we're in a situation where we want him to learn."

Mackenzie's dream is to be a computer game programmer.

One of Mackenzie's strong points has always been his reading skills, his parents say. When he was in Grade 6, he used to read to kindergarten students.

"That was his way of being a champion," said his proud dad, adding his son also possesses strong math skills.

"He says he sees himself like an athlete," added Catharine, "because everything he does is a challenge. He sees himself as a hero, or an athlete."

Autism can be tough on families. The divorce rate for parents with autistic children is through the roof.

"We have a good foundation," Catharine said. "It's all about the family."

His father once worried that his youngest son would never play hockey. But Mackenzie, whose sports-loving family also includes two older brothers, signed up with the Barrie Christian Hockey League three years ago. The right-winger, who cheers for the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored his first goal last season. His parents say it has helped the boy with receiving instruction, learning about winning and losing, and team-building.

"You have to find the right way to motivate," Catharine said, adding Mackenzie also embraced scuba diving during a recent trip to Cuba.

rbowe@thebarrieexaminer.com

--------------------------------------------

One further comment.... "The divorce rate for parents with autistic children is through the roof" -- This is a media myth with no factual basis. In fact, research shows exactly the opposite -

"It is heartening to note that research has not shown that parenting a child with a disability always has an overall negative effect on the parents' relationship. Despite all the difficulties, couples with a child with an ASD have been shown to be no different from typical parents when it comes to reports of spousal support, respect for partner, or commitment.7 Another encouraging fact: we could find absolutely no support for the 80% divorce rate for families with a child with ASD commonly cited around the autism community.8,9 A study looking at divorce rates for families of children with assorted disabilities found an average increase (over the rate for couples with non-disabled children) of only 5.97%.10 An Easter Seals' survey of families with a child on the autism spectrum, moreover, found parents of a child with an ASD to be less likely to have ever been divorced than the parents of a typically developing child.11"


Thank You!

Thank You!

One of the very first things Alex had to say about his Olympic Torch Run experience was "Thank You PEI RoadRunners".
Moments later, when I asked him what the best part of his run was, he replied "my fans". That "thank you" was the first thing he wanted to say when he blogged about his experience. There were RoadRunners too numerous to mention.
Thanks Ellen for arranging the pre Torch Run long run on the trail to get the
Sunday long runners in the right place at the right time.
There were four very special ladies who worked with Alex as TAs (Teachers Aides, now referred to as Educational Aides) spanning his life from age 3 to Grade 12.
There were family and friends and even an Olympian.
Thanks to CTV's live webcam, family across Canada were also watching.

"Thank You I was very happy to see everyone and cheer to me."

I'd like to add my own thanks to all of you, it was a very special moment for Alex,
made all the more special by being able to share it with so many of you.
(And thanks for the great pictures many of you got! You'll notice that not all the photos in the album are mine, if you have some please send them to me)








Thanks to Jeff Doucette from the Petro Canada & Robin's Donuts
for giving us a deal on the coffee we were able to offer to you.
"Thank You Jeff!"



Thanks to Coke for picking Alex as a Torchbearer!
Alex asked that, as an autistic and a distance runner,
Coke pick him to "represent and celebrate active and diverse Canadians".



Thank you Sarah Mitchell, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Team Torchbearer Coordinator from Coke, for her part in Alex's run.
She had a hand in slotting him into the Winsloe leg, was there to watch over him Sunday, and made sure the Coke Truck treated his "fans" with flags, Coke and lots of energy.

"Thanks Sarah!"


Alex was in for another big treat when I got an email from the 1988 PEI Olympic Torchbearer and current Coke employee Paul Crabbe who found his way to our blog thanks to his sister who was looking for a story the Journal Pioneer had done with him. Paul emailed and offered Alex a rare Coke PEI Torchbeaerer pin.

Today we met with Paul

He gave Alex not only the PEI pin and a couple of regular Coke Olympic pins,
but also a jacket, t-shirt & 2010 calendar poster! Thanks Paul!


"Thank You Paul I really like the Coke gifts."



"Thank You to Nannie

and Doug and Spring
for sending the money to help buy my
Olympic Torch Run souvenirs."


and thanks to Ben and Jasmine for taking photos & video!