Hundreds of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health system employees, their families, friends and concerned individuals will join together at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow in support of the First Annual "Walk FAR for NAAR" walkathon on Saturday, Oct. 21.
Money raised during the four-mile walk, which starts at 9 a.m. will support the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), whose primary mission is to fund biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatment and cure of autism and related disorders.
Michael Dowling, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Health System, who is serving as Corporate Team Chairman of the Walk, had this to say about the walk: "On behalf of the 29,000 employees of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, it's a great privilege to serve as a Presenting Sponsor for this tremendous event as we take the crucial steps necessary to conquer the devastating disorder known as autism.
"Those of us in the health care industry understand the importance of dedicated research into the cause, prevention, treatment and cure of an illness. We congratulate NAAR on their vision and commitment, and pledge our support as we join them on this journey," he said.
Some key facts about autism:
* Autism is now believed to affect as many as one in every 500 births.
* Autism is among the most inheritable of all brain disorders.
* Autism affects 3-4 time the number of children estimated just a decade ago and the numbers continue to increase.
* Autism affects boys four times as often as it does girls.
For Marty and Caryn Schwartzman, the walkathon takes on an even more special meaning. Says Mr. Schwartzman, "My wife and I, and our daughter Allyson, will be walking on behalf of our autistic 7-year-old son, Robby, and all the families who struggle on a daily basis with this disorder.
"One of the biggest obstacles to finding the best available treatment and to finding a cure for autism is the lack of an organized effort into conducting biomedical research. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the volunteers at NAAR who are committed to funding and accelerating autism research, we are finally on our way to realizing this dream."
For more information about the walk, please call (718) 776-4788. Check-in time is 9 a.m. at Eisenhower Park. Refreshments will be available.