Lisa Sammons's Fundraising Page
Organization for Autism Research
Lisa Sammons's Fundraising Page

Welcome to my Organization for Autism Research (OAR) fundraising page!  I was chosen by OAR to train for and run the Berlin Marathon in September 2017!  This marathon will be my first International running event and although I am a USA citizen, my family roots are from Germany!  Your donation will not only help me meet that goal but will assist families like mine with children on the autism spectrum!  OAR has a 4 start rating on Charity Navigator and promises that $0.87 of every dollar raised goes towards research grants!   

I am honored and blessed to be mom to my amazing kid Cody!!  Being Cody's mom has opened my heart and mind to think outside the box, inside the box and every other way possible.  I removed my blinders and opened myself up to his world, viewpoint and all his awesomeness.  I stopped trying to relate my experiences growing up to what I thought his should be like.  Cody has taught me new levels of patience, understanding and grace that I never knew existed. 

Cody was in 1st grade when his grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and 2nd grade when he passed away.  The last time he visited grandpa, I brought sidewalk chalk to keep him from getting restless.  I had explained how cancer had affected his grandpa.  Cody drew a hangman with a stick figure hanging, a house with a cross on top and stick figures off in the distance.  Cody said it was a hospital that cured cancer and the stick figures in the distance were the cancer monsters going away.  With one simple drawing he showed me he completely understood in very simple terms what his grandfather had faced. 

When Cody was in 10 years old, the leader of the after school program mentioned Asperger’s Syndrome to me. I took her suggestion seriously and began to research it.  I chatted with Cody’s counselor and we decided to go to Children’s National Medical Center for their Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation.  This is a very comprehensive evaluation over 5 appointments.  At the end of the process, I was handed a very thoroughly written report that encompassed his communication test results, neurological test results and the observed play results. The tests confirmed the Asperger’s diagnosis.  Instead of falling apart in the face of this life-altering news, I resolved to use it to make Cody’s life better. I was able to get him on an individualized education plan at school.  For the first time, school began to get a little less frustrating for him because we were able to keep him mainstreamed in most of his classes and pulled out or setup in a smaller classroom for the subjects he needed more guidance.

Cody taught himself to draw by tracing pictures.  Each time he brought home a successful report card, I let him choose another book from a series he wanted that would help him learn how to draw without tracing the pictures.  He always came up with very creative stories and was now able to express his creativity through drawing a picture all on his own.  He loves the Anime world and was very happy to learn he would be able to take Japanese for his foreign language in high school.  While taking Japanese, his love of drawing came in handy while learning the hiragana, kanji and katakana symbols. 

Cody’s 8th grade class field trip was a visit to the Junior Achievements Finance Park and I eagerly volunteered.  Cody told me about this friend, Juwan, he made who was in a wheelchair and couldn’t talk, but could make sounds and smile.  I met this friend and his aid who took care of him shared with me some of the bonding moments the boys had.  Cody sat down and held his friends hand while listening to the opening remarks before the class entered the finance park area.  I saw his friends face completely light up and he was smiling and making some happy sounds.  I had to take a moment to compose myself, it was the first time I had witnessed my son show kindness and compassion for a peer.  I always cuddled with Cody, even into his elementary school years.  I knew he loved me and showed it, but wasn’t sure if he was capable of that outside of family.  Well I could now see for my own two eyes that he indeed was!!!!  Remembering that moment, still brings tears to my eyes!

Now my amazing son is going to graduate high school!!!  I couldn’t believe we were here.  I couldn’t believe I had survived, and this amazing kid was turning into an amazing adult.  I turned to OAR for guidance on easing the transition from high school to the real world.  Each section of the Guide for Transition to Adulthood I read, I wrote down questions to ask Cody.  He wasn’t enrolled in any schools to continue his education beyond high school.  He didn’t have a job lined up yet.  But we had services set up for him for assistance getting a job.  People kept telling us that he needed to cut his hair.  He had an amazing afro that was a conversation piece anywhere we went, but that wasn’t really appropriate for interviews and his new grown up life. People tend to judge the book because they don’t really know what is under the cover.  So after a year of these kinds of experiences and Cody not really digesting why he didn’t have a job yet, I took him to get his hair trimmed.  The barber did an amazing job and I am happy to say that now he is better prepared to be a new book cover to get a job.

I began running 5 years ago and learned this organization sponsors runners, triathletes and even tough mudders to raise awareness through fundraising.  Just like being a mom to my son Cody, running has completely changed my life.  I have been able to use running to free my mind when it gets too busy, reset my body when it gets too stressed and my son has even run a few 5k's with me.  I am extremely happy to have this opportunity to give back to a charity that we have benefitted from as their resources continue to provide a pathway for Cody and me.

ABOUT 2017 Berlin Marathon
Name Date Amount Comments
Michele Key 08/23/2017 $25.00 Go for it.
Anonymous Friend 07/24/2017 $158.80 You got this LISA!!!
Summer Helms 07/22/2017 $100.00 I'm so proud of you Lisa and so honored to call you friend!
Jim Rice 07/22/2017 $50.00 Thanks for sharing your story. Nice seeing you at the various running events.
Kelly Adamowicz 07/21/2017 $50.00 Have a fantastic race and trip! :)
Lauren Ross 07/21/2017 $25.00 Swift legs to an amazing BAMR!
Olga Torres 07/19/2017 $100.00 You are such an inspiration! Have fun in Germany!!!
Samantha Kaplan 07/18/2017 $25.00  
Jeanette Cantrell 07/18/2017 $50.00 You are amazing, Lisa!
Daiana Martinez 07/06/2017 $25.00  
Anonymous Friend 07/03/2017 $30.00 Lisa, I am so glad to see you running for a great cause! Enjoy Berlin and have a great run!!! Srijana
Christine Schwarz 07/03/2017 $50.00  
Aimee Comi 06/30/2017 $25.00 Wishing you all the best for a great race!!
Manasa Peri 06/06/2017 $100.00  
Linda Thoma 05/12/2017 $25.00 Thank you for inspiring me and many others, have a great race!
Dave, Ken, Rod and Denise 05/12/2017 $100.00 From your Shalimar family!!!
Amy Hasselkus 05/11/2017 $50.00 Amazed by your energy and commitment! You go, girl!
Anonymous Friend 04/21/2017 $250.00 Collection of bday money and awesome people at work :-)
Dennis Huff 04/21/2017 $50.00 Run The Race to Win
KANIESIA EVENSON 04/20/2017 $150.00 Happy for Berlin and OAR~Happy Birthday, Lisa:)
Maureen Thaivalappil 04/20/2017 $26.20 Happy Birthday, Lisa! Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Berlin.
Jenny Manning 04/20/2017 $25.00 Happy Birthday Lisa, and good luck on your marathon. How exciting :-)
Michael Sammons 04/20/2017 $100.00 Happy Birthday, Babe Doll!!!
Amy Miller 04/20/2017 $20.00 Enjoy every moment of the marathon, so proud of you!
Claudia Kenney 04/19/2017 $10.00  
Lorena Pham 04/19/2017 $50.00 Good luck and have fun!!!
Heather Thompson 04/19/2017 $50.00  
Kelly Adamowicz 02/28/2017 $50.00 Good luck with your race! :-)
James & Stacy McAloon 02/20/2017 $150.00 Lisa, thank you for letting us be part of your team for a great cause!
Tobi Rowland 02/18/2017 $100.00 You are going to rock this race, Lisa! I'm so excited for you!
Monica G 02/15/2017 $25.00  
Terry Drew 02/13/2017 $25.00  
Stacy Rosenberg 02/10/2017 $25.00  
Mary Louise Nicklas 02/09/2017 $50.00 Can't think of a better person to support while they run for an amazing cause!
Summer Helms 02/04/2017 $100.00 Thank you for running for this awesome cause!
Jessica Lin 01/18/2017 $50.00 You're a true inspiration Lisa. Best wishes for you and Cody!
Meri Sutherlin 01/18/2017 $25.00 Good luck with the race!
Samantha Howell 01/13/2017 $30.00  
Tricia Rice 01/13/2017 $50.00 Always a BAMR and inspiration to your friends and family!
Erin Westcott 01/11/2017 $25.00 Happy Birthday Cody!! Wishing you many more happy and healthy birthdays ahead! You make your mom so proud!
Sonia Pesantes 01/11/2017 $50.00 You my friend are amazing and such an inspiration. Best wishes on your journey. I am honored to contribute in support of your cause.
Heather Wilckens 12/29/2016 $50.00 I am SO excited for you!!!!
  Total $2,525.00