Marathon runner addresses Toronto, bringing attention to autism
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A graduate of Toronto this week, to address the nation's largest city before continuing his westward run which will take him through ., Howard arrived in
Howard was met Monday at a charityby Senator . The fundraiser was part of Howard's strategy to raise 2.5 million dollars to assist families that support children with ASD. "Spectrum is a very puzzling word," he told the gathering "because there are many types of autism on that spectrum". The real goal of his RunTheDream.ca charity drive though, Howard explained, was simply to "get people involved in the issue" and generate attention for the little-understood disorder.
Eggleton, who welcomedto the city as mayor in 1980, drew comparisons to the runner who became a Canadian icon. While praising Howard's efforts to raise money and awareness, the senator said he believed that "an awful lot more needs to be done" at the political level to combat the financial and emotional difficulties that face those dealing with autism.
Howard reassured supporters that he still intended to reach, before December 31. "The challenges are great," he confessed "but as long as the determination is greater, anything can be achieved".
Terry Robinson, a two-time Canadian Paralympic contender born with cerebral palsy, pledged to follow Howard's journey two weeks ago on its three-month leg from to .
Robinson addressed the city, speaking about how his own disabilities left him with an appreciation for how important it was to ensure that people struggling with autism had access to services that could support them.