I had discussed an opportunity for growth within the company with one of our employees. A bright perfectionist, she would be perfect for the role I wanted to place her in. After several minutes of discussion, she remarked, “No, I like what I’m doing. Besides, I don’t want a job to consume me as Easycove does to you.”
At first, I felt pride in knowing people realized how hard I work. Then, within seconds, my mouth dropped to the floor, and I considered the thought I might be too demanding or even possibly pathetically obsessed with my work. Apparently, I have no life.
When my youngest child was diagnosed with a rare disease at the age of 9 months, life was all about keeping him alive. The first five years were the most crucial, with 27 mandatory yearly physician appointments (not including frequent ambulance rides, hospital stays, and sick visits). When he was age 4, he looked like he was 2. When he started walking, we had to put bells on his shoes so we could find him; he was THAT little. In Kindergarten, I met him for lunch in the nurses’ office, where he had to be bolused (g-tube fed through his belly) with either a concoction I made or a supplemental can of nutrients. At age seven, we finally jumped a hurdle, and things began to calm down. Talk about being consumed. He will be 20 in May and is very healthy, intelligent, handsome, and happy.
Not every individual with a disease or neurological disorder manifests in physical attributes, and therefore many of us may be unaware of those affected by certain conditions.
April is all about Autism Awareness.
Did you know 1 in 36 children are now known to be identified with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and ASD is 4 times more common in boys than in girls? I was shocked to learn that in the year 2000, those numbers were only 1 in 150. I was also surprised to know that two individuals I work with have boys with Autism. Their significant other has a son with HFA. The guy who bags my groceries has Autism. My hairstylist has a son with Autism. The list goes on. Did I mention my eldest son is on the spectrum? HFA, High Functioning Autism. We didn’t find out until much later – he exhibited very minimal cues, thus the “high-functioning” diagnosis.
Easycove has chosen to donate and participate in a local event promoted by our friends at Hive Salon, Brookfield, WI. On Saturday, June 24, Hive Salon will host its 9th annual Golf Classic supporting the Southeastern Wisconsin Autism Society.
The funds, not for research, stay local within the community. Examples of those donations are to the Safe & Sound program towards teaching first responders, and police officers, the ability to identify signs of distress and overall mental health awareness. The SWAS also provides various programs for adults, like social events and even a summer camp bike riding program helping teach adults and children on the spectrum how to ride a bike.
Easycove hopes you will participate by purchasing a ticket to this event and/or donating to your local autism chapter. I would also love to hear from you. Have you been touched by someone with Autism? Have a story to share? Did you make a donation? Feel free to post your support of Autism on your social media sites and tag us (#Easycove). Or, send me an e-mail at email@example.com about your experience. We are all in this together, and if we can make life that much easier for one person, we have created an impact in the ripple effect of love and kindness.
It’s important we share who we are, not just what we do on a daily basis. Life isn’t all about work. And Easycove cares not only about its customers and the people we serve, but we are also passionate about real-life circumstances that affect others – those being in the rare disease and Autism world, to name a couple.
I have repeatedly said one crucial phrase: “If you have never experienced a rare disease or autism, a broken arm or even cancer, you will never truly understand.” HOWEVER, you can certainly be compassionate and more open-minded about what others may be going through and participate in ways that can help those inflicted.
Cheers and God Bless.
– Heather O’Brien, President Easycove