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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Kim Vogel will run a marathon for Autism Speaks

  • When Kim Vogel goes to Disney World in Florida, she’s not just going to hang out with Mickey and Minnie.



    Vogel, Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department director, will be running the Disney World Marathon, slated Jan. 13, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.

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  • When Kim Vogel goes to Disney World in Florida, she’s not just going to hang out with Mickey and Minnie.
    Vogel, Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department director, will be running the Disney World Marathon, slated Jan. 13, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.
    She first ran the Disney World marathon — her first marathon ever — back  in January of 2003. Vogel wasn’t running just for the joy of it in 2003, but to raise $3,000 for a young leukemia victim through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program.
    Ten years later, she’s returning to  the Disney World Marathon to raise money for Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding on the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
    Vogel said she’s doing this in honor of good friends Mike and Angie Salts, whose son, Dylan, has autism.
    “They have supported me in my fundraisers for cancer, so when this opportunity came about, I couldn’t think of a better group to run with or family to run  for,” she said.
    Her personal fundraising goal is $1,250.
    “So far $43,475 has been raised by those running,” Vogel  said.
    She said that she’s following an 18-week training program.
    “I follow the schedule diligently,” Vogel said. “I run four days a week, doing the long runs on Saturdays. I’ll get up to 20 miles before the marathon.”
    She’s impressed that Autism Speaks, which was formed about six years ago, has so far raised about $80 million for autism research and was instrumental in getting legislation requiring autism treatment to be covered by health insurance in several states.
    “I understand that the organization gets something like 2,000 calls each month from parents of children with autism,” Vogel said.
    Things have changed, said Mike Salts.
    “When we started with this, Dylan was very young and there was nothing,” he said. “No one could really tell us much.”
    He and his wife “read every book in the world” and attended conferences, including one that featured Temple Grandin, a doctor of animal science, Colorado State University professor and best-selling author who has autism.
    The Salts’ don’t know if Dylan will grow up to be a professor/author or not, but he’s definitely making progress.
    Now 12, he’s a seventh grade student in a regular classroom at Northeast Junior High, Arma. Dylan also receives occupational and speech therapy.
    “We can tell a big difference in his speech,” Angie Salts said.
    The boy’s father said that, at 6, Dylan could speak but didn’t.
    “He’s come light years,” Salts said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Anyone wishing to donate online to Vogel’s cause may go to https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1020059&supld=366952770.
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