#ShineEvelynShine Tulsa

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When Evelyn was about two years old, a family member asked me if I thought Evelyn could be Autistic. At first I thought, “No way.” I was surprised that she even suggested it. Why would she ask me that? “It would explain why she doesn’t look at anyone when we call her name,”  she explained. The rest of what she said faded into background noise, as panic set in. I called my Mom. “What do you think? Could this be true? Oh my God, what if it’s true? Just tell me what you really think!” She kept reminding me the things Evelyn could do, and that everything would be okay. I called Evelyn's pediatrician and made an appointment. Her doctor did a screening and said, it was possible that she had Autism. My heart sank, my mind raced, but I stayed strong and professional. “What’s next? What should I do? What does this mean? Tell it to me straight.” She referred me to a physiologist to have Evelyn tested. She also told me about Speech Therapy and other services. I made her an appointment for Speech Therapy the next day. I called the doctor back a few times that week. "What if we wait and give her time to catch up with the therapies?" I asked her through the tears. "How about we give her a year," I barraged, "After that we will see where she is developmentally and go from there? What do you think? Is that a bad Idea?" I told her and Evelyn's therapists to be real with me, if I was in denial or not doing the right thing to just tell me. "Even if I don't want to hear it," I pleaded as tears escaped, "Even if I cry, please help me do what's right for her." One therapist hugged me and cried with me the whole appointment. The pain I felt was like no other I have ever experienced. In the end, I decided to wait to get her diagnosed. I thought all the developmental delays were my fault. She didn’t talk, because I didn’t push her hard enough to. She didn’t want to play with me, because I didn’t play with her enough. I never took her around kids, that is why she didn’t know how to act around them. I thought I could give her a year to catch up and I would do everything right. I was afraid. I started watching Evelyn’s every move. Everything that seemed wrong, made me break down. I cried every time she would do something repetitively, I would even try to make her stop. I cried every time she wouldn’t look at me when I said her name. Every day, we would practice looking when I called her name. I would sit in front of her in an empty, distraction free room, and say her name. If she looked, I gave her a jelly bean. At the time, I thought I was helping her not be Autistic. It sounds ridiculous now, but made so much sense then. During nap time, I would sit in her doorway and cry as she slept. I felt like the baby I had been raising, had suddenly died. She was gone forever. I felt lost. Most of all, I felt guilty for feeling the way I did. When I was pregnant, my mind raced with all the possibilities. My baby will be so smart, kind, and witty. She will talk to me about friends, boys, her hopes, fears, and dreams. She will be strong, independent, and capable. She will have accomplishments, a home, a family and she will bring a light to the world. I assumed my baby would be born healthy, full term, and “normal.” I mean, all the tests the doctors ran came back good. She was supposed to be good to go, right? When the word Autism was mentioned, all of those things I just thought would just happen dissipated. New thoughts flooded in. Will she be able to live on her own one day? Will she work? Will she feed herself? Will she be able to use the bathroom like we do? Will she read? Who will help her when I die? Who will love her when I am gone? Who will protect her when I am gone? Evelyn was tested and diagnosed for Autism in March of 2019. For the last couple years I have been afraid that if she was labeled, she would never have a chance to be those things I thought she would be when she was born. Now, that I understand what Autism is, I know that's just not true. Evelyn can still have all of those things. She is already smart, kind and witty. She is already extremely independent, strong and capable. She brings a light to this grey world, in ways that I never thought possible. She will be okay. I have not lost my child, I found her. Please come walk with Evelyn and I April 25th. Help me show the world how bright Evelyn shines. #ShineEvelynShine

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Team Fundraising Goal: $1000
Total Raised: $0

Members Recruited

100%

Membership Goal: 35
Team Members: 36


Participants

MEMBER NAME EVENT
Misty Stevens piecewalk
Holly Barnett piecewalk
Cassidy Turrentine piecewalk
Rosemary Rose piecewalk
Donald Rose piecewalk
Traci Edwards piecewalk
Sara Smith piecewalk
Blake Smith piecewalk
Diane Sheives piecewalk
Evelyn Stevens piecewalk
Cody Dixon piecewalk
Kirsti Davis piecewalk
Chris Watson piecewalk
Tammy Watson piecewalk
Ammie Myers piecewalk
Jacob Myers piecewalk
Jersie Myers piecewalk
Adalie Myers piecewalk
Easton Myers piecewalk
Haley Edwards piecewalk
Hunter Edwards piecewalk
Harper Edwards piecewalk
Jayden Edwards piecewalk
Leslie Bryce piecewalk
Tommy Bryce piecewalk
Tomme Snow piecewalk
Jerry Snow piecewalk
Bethany Bryce piecewalk
Mary Gribi piecewalk
Peter Gribi piecewalk
Kasey Parsons piecewalk
Chloe Carolan piecewalk
Donald Rose piecewalk
William Parsons piecewalk
Karen Bishop piecewalk
McLain Dillard piecewalk

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