Melissa Jill
Saturday is my birthday. And I'm inclined to start counting backwards -- haha!

I have so much to celebrate. What an amazing year it has been! God has lavished SO MANY blessings on me and my cup is overflowing. I wanted to take a second to thank all of my close friends and family for how supportive you have been through this past year -- you are such a blessing to me. This life is a wild ride full of joy and challenge but the longer I'm on this earth, the more I'm convinced that God is good, He is my provider, and I have so much to look forward to this coming year and beyond.

Today I am donating my birthday to autism research. As many of you know, I lead a team that walks every year in early October to raise awareness for autism and money towards finding the cause and cure to this rapidly growing epidemic. I have two amazing nephews who have autism. Noah is 16 and Elijah is 14. They are SO special to me. Noah has moderate autism and Elijah is severe. They both have unique challenges, but Elijah is still non-verbal. We continue to work toward solutions to improve their quality of life and also to impact this world to make it a better place for children who will be growing up with autism in the generations to come. Hopefully we can learn so much more about the causes behind it that we are even able to bring an end to it. I believe that is possible!

On Saturday my team will be walking for autism for the 10th year in a row to raise money that will go directly to research studies that will be conducted by ASU this year. The ASU research team is leading the nation in its studies of the bio-medical causes and treatments of autism and we've already seen the money we have raised in past years impact lives -- even the lives of my nephews! I'm so excited to walk again this year and see the changes we can make! If you would like to donate a little something to help us reach our goal in honor of my birthday, I would really appreciate it! Our big-hairy-audacious-goal this year is to raise $12,000 and we currently have raised over $7,000! We have a good ways to go and just a couple days to do it in!

Click here to make a life-changing donation. And if you're in the Phoenix area and want to walk with us at the crack of dawn on Saturday, drop me an email! We'd love to have you join us!
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