Chapel Hill Resident Completes 3,000-Mile Goal for Autism Research
It took nearly three years, but Nick Nickerson completed his goal of running the length equivalent of running across the contiguous United States.
The Chapel Hill resident finished his 3,000-mile goal, which is an effort to raise money for research into the causal factors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), earlier this month. Nickerson ran in many marathons and training races to accumulate the miles, finishing with a run to the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on January 12. He turned 74 years old the day after.
“This run has been an amazing experience,” said Nickerson in a release. “I have met a ton of generous and caring people, many I don’t know, who have supported my effort.”
Nickerson began his journey on April 2, 2017 on the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. Chapelboro featured him as a Hometown Hero that same year to highlight his efforts to raise money to find a solution to the disorder.
Nickerson’s son, Adam, was diagnosed with ASD when he was eight years old. Since then, Nickerson has been focused on helping improve research. He said because his family understands the difficulties of raising a child with autism, he wants to help prevent other families from having the same experience.
“If we don’t find the cause and eventually the prevention autism, it will be the disability of the century,” said Nickerson. “Currently, almost 2 percent of children are impacted by autism. This is not sustainable for our society. Either family, friends or the government will have to provide for most of this population throughout their lifetime.”
To learn more about Nickerson’s run and fundraising goals, visit his website for the 3,000 Miles for Autism cause.
Photo via 3,000 Miles for Autism.
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