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Posts Tagged ‘blue hair’

I finally pulled the trigger last week – I officially signed up to run the New York City Marathon for the third year in a row.

And for the third year in a row, I will be running as a charity runner – raising funds for the organization that is particularly close to my heart – Autism Speaks.  I had held off signing up for so long this year because I was busy recruiting many of you to run Boston 13.1 on September 16th (also for Autism Speaks – If you haven’t signed up to run, there are still spaces available.  Sign up —HERE—).

I could go on and on about why I am running and why I need your help, but it really comes down to this:  Autistic people like Brooke face a wide range of challenges both as children and as adults.  Autism Speaks tries to take these challenges on from several different angles – funds raised go to scientific research, social services, development of employment opportunities, and raising awareness.

They work tirelessly to make the world a better place for my Brooke and all autistics who are both like and not like her – that’s how wide the spectrum is.

So I come to you, hat in hand, asking for your help.  I have agreed to raise $3000 by November 4th (that’s on top of the $500+ I’ve already raised for Boston 13.1).  Whether it’s $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or even the whole darned $3000, I’m asking for your help.

Every dollar counts.

Last year, because you put Jess & I over $10,000 for the Boston Autism Walk, I dyed my hair blue for the marathon.  I figured it would be pretty boring if I did the same thing again, so I’m going to mix it up a little while maintaining the theme.  This year, if you get me to my goal of $3000 by October 15th, I will run in this:

It should make me easy to spot along the way.

Now, if you all really go crazy and get me to my goal of $3000 before September 15th (that’s only a few weeks away), I might just be convinced to run in this:

Come on…you know you want me to do it!  And the truth is, I do owe Katy Perry something for nudging me in the direction I find myself (free training session for you Katy should you ever find yourself in the Boston area).  If it does come to this one though, I may reserve the right to put it up in a ponytail if it gets too hot.

Speaking of Ms. Perry, you may know I am currently working toward a CSCS certification that will allow me to officially work as a personal/team trainer.  My plan is to be certified by the end of March 2013.  How is this significant?  For every $25 donated, I will put the donator’s name into a hat (so $100 would be 4 entries).  On November 1st, I will have Brooke draw out a name.  The winner will receive (after I am certified) 3 training sessions that will include on top of that a full nutritional and physical intake evaluation and a long term program to get you where you want to be.  Hopefully, after three sessions, you will still want to work with me!

If you live outside of New England, I could use some credit card miles to fly to you for a weekend or we could do something via Skype – we can work out those details later.

Okay, so here’s the link to my donation page – http://events.autismspeaks.org/nycmarathon/runluaurun – donate early and often, and remember, every $25 buys you one raffle ticket ($200= 8 tickets!).

You know you want to see me running through the streets of New York with a Katy Perry wig!

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Yesterday afternoon, while at school pick up, a mother tracked me down…

“I’ve been meaning to tell you,” she started, “your blue hair…”

She went on to tell me how she had been sitting watching a group of kids.  The topic of Brooke’s dad with the blue hair spontaneously came up in conversation which started a discussion about autism, autism awareness and what autism is…among the kids…with no adults!

She wasn’t close enough to hear every detail, but she was impressed that the kids carried on the conversation for some time and that the topic had been brought up because of my blue hair.

“I thought you would want to know your blue hair is doing its job,” she said.  She was absolutely right.

I told her maybe I should think about keeping my hair blue all year.

“No, no,” she replied, “then they’d get used to it.  Every once in a while, it’s good to shock them and make them think.”

Even though I’m getting my marathon out of the way with NYCM next weekend, maybe I should consider going blue again next year.  I feel like each conversation Brooke’s peers have about autism is one more kid who is aware that different is okay.

Thank you to the mom who let me know that I was making a difference even when I wasn’t around.

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Brother, can you spare 30 seconds?

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So the blue hair thing is already paying dividends.

Friends, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers; children, adults – all of them are asking, “what’s up with the blue hair?”

I thought this would be easy – you ask me about autism and I can go on for a good 30 minutes, ranging on topics from awareness to therapies to educational methods. The problem of course is not everyone is as enthusiastic as I am; not everyone is as entrenched as I am; not everyone wants to listen for too long as I get on to my traveling soapbox.

So I’ve had to refine my pitch. I’ve tried to get my soapbox speech down to about 30 seconds or less at this point, but it’s kind of like suddenly being told you need to sprint a 5K after spending a summer training for a marathon.

Hopefully I’ll have it down pat by the time the New York Marathon rolls around.

Meanwhile, I hit the key points –

  • Autism Awareness
  • Fund Raising
  • Research
  • Beacon of awareness
  • Running New York with blue hair for Autism Speaks

So far I haven’t had one negative comment (except maybe one who said she just couldn’t take someone with blue hair seriously…whatever).  Over the weekend I think I probably spoke to over 30 people individually about the hair and why I did it.  Today I’ve already spoken with almost 10.  That’s 40 more people who might stop and think before judging one of our kids, siblings or parents the next time they fall apart at the grocery store.  Hopefully those 40 will tell their friends about the crazy, marathon running dad with the blue hair and they’ll remember to mention why that crazy dad is doing it.

Spreading Autism Awareness, changing the world, one strange look at a time.

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Why do you run?

And for those who think maybe Awareness is a tired, worn out theme, I ask you to read —>THIS<— and then tell me if that is really the case.

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So tomorrow is the day.

Tomorrow morning at 10:45 I will, for the first time in my life be dying my hair – not to wash away the gray (it’s there by the way), not to add highlights (a little too Metro’ for me anyway), but to go blue, specifically Autism Speaks Blue to promote Autism Awareness.

Jess’ stylist, who has so generously donated the job, is going to be washing, bleaching and coloring this shaggy head.

The closer I get to it, the more I realize just how nutty of an idea this was – but if I can get just one person every day to ask me why I did it, it will be well worth the funny looks.

So tomorrow is the day.

I will post pictures of the transformation here on the blog either tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning, BUT for those who simply cannot wait and want to watch the change almost as it happens, I will be live tweeting the transformation.

So if you’ve got nothing better to do tomorrow morning, hop on to Twitter and follow me @luau.

For now, I am going to enjoy my last few hours with normal colored hair.

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