Why Lift Up Autism?

 In Event, Health

Why Lift Up Autism? Because it affects our community, our family.  It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day at a gym: coming in, getting a workout in, and going home. But when one of our own is affected, we have to look at how we can help bring awareness, to affect change.


Layla and her son, Adam

Program Design client, Layla Akilan, has first-hand knowledge of how an Autism diagnosis can affect one’s family. “We had started to notice that our son was not hitting his developmental milestones and his language was very limited. Naturally, we were very concerned and began speaking with our pediatrician. The diagnosing process was long and complex, requiring an extensive team of professionals. As a family it was hard to accept such a life-changing diagnosis. And as a parent it was and still is hard to find the right words to explain to others how my child is different and unique in so many ways. “

In 2013, Josh Everett and TrainHeroic, with the help of the CrossFit community, created a worldwide workout called “Luke.”  Named for his son, the workout was part of an event seeking to support early diagnosis and treatment of Autism, raise funds for the Autism Tree Project Foundation, and shed light on the impact of Autism on families and individuals across the globe (read more: Lift Up Autism).

“CrossFit has a way of bringing people together,” Layla says. “We all share a very unique bond-  maybe that’s because there is some kind of magic that happens when you endure some sort of physical or mental pain together. Maybe it’s because of our undying support for one another.  Through this, we can create a platform to not only raise money, but also raise awareness for important topics that touch our lives (not only Autism). It only seems right to share my story with this community and use CrossFit as a springboard to make a difference, even if it is a small one.”

Please join our community on September 19, along with those across the world, to help support this case. For more information, and to RSVP, visit our event page.

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