RUN FOR AUTISM alum Hillary Minicucci first heard about OAR from a friend in New York City. It wasn’t hard for her to fall in love with the organization after hearing that 87 cents of every dollar donated goes toward research and funding programs that support and benefit the autism community.
Hillary’s commitment to OAR began back in 2015 when she joined the New York City Marathon RUN FOR AUTISM team. After months of training, she developed a devastating injury to her IT band and unfortunately could not run the race but still raised over $12,600! Two years later Hillary recovered fully and came back strong in her RUN FOR AUTISM teal singlet to conquer the 2017 New York City Marathon. Again, she raised an amazing amount for OAR, over $7,200. This year Hillary is back again on the RUN FOR AUTISM team and running the Chicago Marathon marking her third time running and fundraising for OAR. With over $600 in fundraising already this year she has officially raised over $20,000 for OAR!
When asked why Hillary runs with OAR her answer was simple, “I run for my 7-year-old son Cole.” Cole was diagnosed with ASD just one day after his fourth birthday. “I run to raise awareness, acceptance and money for research. No matter how many miles I put on these feet, the struggles I have with training don’t compare to what he goes through every day. I can never give up, because I don’t let him quit, ever.” Hillary never quits running and neither do two of her close friends who also run with OAR. The three of them make up a small portion of #TeamCole that train together through the week and join each other for long runs on Saturdays which Hillary says “are better than therapy!”
Besides running, Hillary supports OAR by sharing all the different resources they have available in her online moms support group, Super Moms of Special Kids. Hillary’s favorite OAR resource is the sibling activity book.
For Hillary, joining the RUN FOR AUTISM team has been like joining a family and community, “it’s an organization we all stand behind, and the RUN part is the icing on the cake.” Hillary has been running competitively since middle school and already has her mind set on the Marine Corps Marathon in 2019, RUN FOR AUTISM’s biggest event. She plans to be part of the RUN FOR AUTISM team for “as long as they keep me around!”
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