By Paige Fumo Fox
Source Chicago Tribune
Jacob Yarrow, 13, attends Brooks Middle School, plays piano and clarinet, enjoys Wii with his younger brother, and always has been a “great walker.”
He also has autism.
For Jacob’s family — including his brother Caleb and parents Ginger and Philip — participating in the annual walk to benefit the organization Autism Speaks is part of the journey of understanding and helping Jacob and others on the autism spectrum. The Yarrows of Oak Park have raised more than $100,000 since 2005 and are consistently among the top five fundraisers each year, according to a spokeswoman for the organization.
“We got involved with (the organization) when it was Cure Autism Now. It was focused on scientific research, and we had a friend on the science board,” Ginger Yarrow said. During the first walk, Jacob was 4 and had been diagnosed with autism about a year and a half earlier. CAN later merged with Autism Speaks.
The Yarrows found themselves surrounded with other people “who get it,” she said. They began to raise money by simply emailing their friends and family, expanding their contacts each year. For this year’s event on May 18 at Soldier Field, they raised nearly $16,000 and will have a matching donation of $5,000 from Philip Yarrow’s employer.
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