Nearing the Finish Line

Do you remember the first time you considered anything in life a challenge? The first time you rode a bike, running “the mile” in middle school, or when you took your drivers license test; the first, second, maybe third time. At the beginning of any challenge your goal always feels impossible and if it doesn’t then you’ve already failed.

Failure is as much apart the journey as is success. You have to fall off the bike and get back on, meet failure with purposeful resistance and eventually what was once difficult is trampled by your progress. Looking back, the seemingly small obstacles we face in life, ultimately, are met by the big bad wolf of them all. If we do not allow ourselves to work through even the smallest of problems, if you spend your life giving up each time you fail, your straw house will surely not withstand the big blows to come.

As a parent, as Braeden’s parent; the most difficult challenge to understand is his autism. For myself, daily I meet the challenge with acceptance, powered by hope, and founded on love but for Braeden, it’s not that simple. All the “little” things in life you and I do every day; getting dressed, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, are very few examples of seemingly huge obstacles for Braeden. In our family, progress is celebrated every day. Progress is all anyone can ask for, when once upon a time began with a “no quality of life” diagnosis for your child.

Day 1: I sat in front of a computer and accepted the Eagles Autism Challenge. In doing so, I made a commitment to raise $2,500 over the next 139 days. Immediately after clicking submit, I was sick to my stomach, it was one of the most unnerving moments I’ve had in my life. How could I, Kathleen Tarzwell, a single mom with a small network, ever find the people to donate that much money!?…

Day 9: $1,000

Day 14: $2,000

Day 18: $2,500

Day 80: $10,000

TODAY: $13,040 – with the amazing support of 259 donors which consist of my amazing family, friends, coworkers, strangers that have become friends… THANK YOU, WE DID IT!

A very special thanks to the person who is the reason for all that I do, my person, my strength, my son; Braeden. 

If you’re still interested in supporting Braeden and I in the Eagles Autism Challenge, there’s still time. See the link below to visit our fundraising page.

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