Community Spirit--Andrew's Answer - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/06/04

Community Spirit--Andrew's Answer

Sydney Filson Sydney Filson
Lynn Javetz Lynn Javetz

You don't hear about it as much, but did you know that more children are diagnosed with autism than with juvenile diabetes, Down's syndrome and cancer combined? What's even more shocking, there are very few resources for parents in the Coastal Empire.

As you can imagine, when local mother Lynn Javetz and Sydney Filson learned their babies--both named Andrew--were autistic, they were devastated.

"I was probably the most lost I've ever been in my life," said Filson. "That was the most devastating thing is that he had a lifelong illness."

"Both of us knew there were very few resources for families," said Javetz. "We were frustrated. Out of our frustration and tears came a wonderful organization."

These amazing ladies, with the help of their very supportive families, decided instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they would do something about it. They call their effort Andrew's Answer.

"We went into action and started a support group PACE- Parents advocating for children with autism everywhere. We thought that wasn't enough so we formed Andrew's Answer hopefully it will be an answer for all kids with autism."

For three years, they've been a support for each other as well as other families trying to deal with the illness, sometimes referred to as the silent epidemic. Now they're trying something new, getting bags ready for the group's first Andrew's Answer Walk to Talk. It's a walk-a-thon and a fun-filled day for the entire family. All of the money raised will go toward helping area families with medical expenses associated with autism.

"We hope it will make a difference in every parent and child's life dealing with the disorder," said Filson.

That's how the Javetz and Filson families capture the WTOC Community Spirit. You can help by joining them for Andrew's Answer First Annual Walk to Talk, 8am Saturday morning, September 11 at Lake Mayer. The group is asking for a $20 donation for the walk.

This walk is also part of the Feel Better Challenge. You can earn 100 points for this very worthy cause.

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com.

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