Posts Tagged ‘awareness’


If you follow along on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that I’ve started a campaign to capture Katy Perry’s attention and then convince her to donate one of her blue wigs to me to wear at this year’s New York City Marathon.  I started a petition on Change.Org to create a central location to collect your signatures.   If you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate your signing the petition.  The link is —>HERE<— (or you can click on the image below).  I’ll wait right here while you go over and sign it.

Sign Here!!!


But that’s only one prong of my three-pronged strategy to get Ms. Perry’s attention.


Part two also involves you as well, if you are willing.  Members of Team Up With Autism Speaks and I are putting together a Twitter campaign to send a steady stream of tweets to Katy Perry (Twitter handle: @katyperry).  I have no idea how often she reads the tweets that are sent to her.  Based on what I’ve seen on her twitter stream, she receives quite a few tweets – that happens when you have 24 million followers.  Ideally, at any given point during the day, for the next 8 weeks until New York, somebody will tweet to Katy asking her to donate a wig.  Obviously I will be tweeting her on a regular basis, but the more people that do it, the more likely either she, or whoever runs her social media will see it.  If you are up to sending her regular tweets (or even just one tweet), maybe it could look something like this:

Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ one of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #lightluaublue


Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ 1 of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #luauisafirework

If you copy and paste either one of those two, you will use all 140 characters while providing her with a link to the petition, with hashtags for Autism and Awareness , which means that the tweet will pop up when people search for either one of those terms.  The link to Twitter is here:

Copy one of the tweets above and then click on the birdie!

The first coordinated Twitter-fest is tomorrow (Tuesday the 25th) at 10:30AM.  Hopefully if hundreds of people send her the same tweet at 10:30AM (EST), it might get noticed.


Finally the third prong of my strategy may or may not involve you – do you know Katy?  Somebody out there has to know her, right?  or at least someone who knows someone, whose uncle has customer who once dated a girl who is the sister of a guy who went to school with a girl whose aunt’s best friend’s son dated a girl who is one of Katy’s dancers?  Somebody, somewhere out there could let Katy know, right?  Okay, seriously though.  I’m trying to work through some people who work with people in the music industry, but if you know someone who knows her…or better yet, if YOU know her, I would love the opportunity to pitch my request to her.

…because I would look much better in this wig…

…than in this one!


So that’s it – my three pronged strategy: petition, twitter-bomb and finding somebody who might know somebody.  If you have suggestions on how better to reach her, please email me (runluaurun at gmail dot com) – I am open to any and all suggestions.

Don’t forget, 10:30AM tomorrow morning (EST).  I appreciate any and all help…even if it’s just passing this or the petition link or the tweet along.  Whether I succeed or not, I have a feeling that this will make a great starting point for my motivational speech the night before New York.

Read Full Post »

Did you see the story about the young man with Down’s Syndrome who was denied a seat in First Class on an American Airlines flight because the pilot considered him a flight risk?

You can find the Huff Po piece —>HERE<— and American Airlines’ public response —>HERE<—.

I found this story to be horrifying, not only as the parent of a Special Needs Child, but as a member of the human race.  According to the news story from PIX 11 (link found at the top of the Huff Po piece) the pilot observed the young man and determined he would be a flight risk up in First Class.  Since 9/11, the doors to the cockpit have been remade to withstand attacks from terrorists.  How does a person with Down’s Syndrome fall into the same category as a terrorist?  If he is truly a flight risk, how is that they then moved him to the back of a United Airlines flight? I imagine that if a person is a flight risk they are just as much a flight risk in First Class as they are in Steerage.  How does this happen?

The answer is simple – ignorance.

The pilot made assumptions when he saw Bede Vanderhorst.  Whatever it is he thought he knew about people with Down’s Syndrome, he applied that to Bede, without so much as trying to understand any of the alleged behavior he says he saw him displaying, and made his decision.

This combination of ignorance and assumption is what keeps me up into the wee hours of the night – until there is a critical mass of awareness and understanding in the world of those with disabilities, ANY DISABILITY, how will my Brooke get by once she is an adult?  Will I always have to be there to explain to every ignoramus why his assumptions about her are wrong?  If this can happen to Bede, it can happen to my Brooke and any other child or adult who doesn’t fall under what others might consider typical.

Admittedly, there are two sides to every story, and we may not have all of the information available.    The Vanderhorsts have been very vocal in their complaint.  American Airlines on the other hand has handed out a simple statement and left it at that.  The airlines responded to a tweet of mine by directing me to the Facebook page.  Apparently the Department of Transportation is opening up an investigation of the incident.  I imagine that closed-circuit video of the gate will bear out the truth.

But I come back to the bigger topic at hand, and that’s the concept of making assumptions based on ignorance.  One of the greatest weapons against ignorance that we, as a caring society, have is awareness.  Awareness is the first step toward understanding and acceptance.  The thing is, this awareness thing, it IS working.  I see it in the halls of my daughter’s school and in the window panes of local shops.  People, every day people, are starting to shift.  Sure there is going to be the inevitable asshole who will find pleasure in making fun of those he doesn’t understand, but to some degree, I see change happening…slowly, but happening.  Heck, President Clinton mention both Down’s Syndrome and Autism in his speech on Wednesday night at the DNC.  Progress – it’s happening!

But what really frightens me is that some people who are in positions of power, say like this pilot or a congressman speaking on women’s reproductive rights, will decline the opportunity to truly understand the science or psychology of a situation because they do not want to appear weak.  They will ignore facts and push on with what they “believe” is right without listening to what’s really going on.  Guess what?  That is the action of a weak minded, weak willed person who is afraid that reality could shatter their long held views of the world.  Declaring something with authority doesn’t make it right – in fact, it is often a sign of inner weakness.  Yes, Bede’s mom was sobbing and his father was in shock.  Yes, sobbing and shock don’t lend themselves to allowing a person to be particularly articulate, but it is the duty of our leaders to lead and to listen empathetically  to those in pain, not bristle and put up walls.  It takes a strong man or woman to open themselves up to the possibility that they are not only wrong, but grossly wrong.  The bittersweet thing of it is that I find that strength more in the neighbor, the friend’s mother, the grocery bagger than in those who hold positions of power.

If we’re going to move forward as a nation, our leaders, both nationally and at the business and community level, are going to have to learn that admitting they are wrong, no matter how hard it may be, is not a sin, and is often the path to a better place.

Read Full Post »

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

As I slipped into the pool this morning to try to implement my new effort to incorporate a complement to my running, I was momentarily distracted by the cheery singing of “ring around the rosy”. I looked up to see a group swim lesson going on with parents and toddlers. I smiled at the joy on the parents faces and the playful laughs of the little ones.

And then I cried a little.

As we come to the end of Autism Awareness Month, I can’t help but wonder, how much further along would Brooke be had I just been more aware when she was that age. Watching those parents and their children brought me back to swim lessons with Brooke. Swims lessons that were fraught with anxiety, screaming and crying. There was no joy, there were no playful laughs.

It was the beginning of an 18 month stretch where Brooke became more and more difficult to interact with.

We’ve come a long way since then. Her progress has been tremendous. But there is still a long, long way to go.

And moments like the one this morning as I slipped into the pool are tough reminders that maybe, just maybe, life would be different right now had I been more aware.

If only I had been more aware.

Had we given Brooke the therapies she needed at a much younger age, maybe her autism would not be as severe. Maybe her social interactions would not be as difficult.

This month is important. This month can save lives. Awareness can alter the course of personal history.

Please, PLEASE, don’t let Autism Awareness end with the turning of the calendar.

You just might ease the life-path of a little girl or boy and save the collective life of a family.

Bookmark and Share

Why do you run?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: