Friday, July 16, 2010

Stop FASt, give a dollar! (preview)

As I've mentioned before, there is something huge in the works in my life. God has put it on my heart and made it very known to me what I need to do. With the help of a major university, we will be launching a big FASD awareness campaign!!!! This is still in the VERY early stages but I've been given the green light by this university to go ahead with my plan. There are so many details to work out. I have no business background, no marketing background, no public relations background but I somehow will be tackling all of these things and more as I embark on this new chapter of my life. I keep saying "my" but it really is about "us". It will include my family, friends, strangers, my blogging friends/acquaintances and anyone else that is passionate about FASD awareness.
Our vision has several goals.

1. To bring awareness of FASD to every person in the US and
potentially worldwide.
2. To educate Social Services, Physicians (particularly peds and dev. peds),
hospitals, children’s clinics, DCFS, WIC offices, Social workers,
Educators, Administrators, LAW ENFORCEMENT, etc on the
REALITY of FASD. (ie: What does it look like? Treatment?
Prevention? Prevalence?)
3. To raise enough awareness that would generate funds for an FASD
research/treatment center at UCLA.
4. To bring together all grassroots operations around the country who
have the same vision of getting awareness out into their communities.
5. Uniting the fight against FASD with the simple idea that anyone can
help end FASD by simply donating a $1.

Now I realize someone living in a different state than Ca. might not see the benefit of donating money to opening a research and assessment center so far away but these centers are so desperately needed everywhere. There are some great hospitals and universities around the country right now that do offer diagnosis of FASD's but they are few and far between. The need is great and the time is now.

I do not want to see my son fall through the cracks anymore. I do not want my son to become another statistic. I do not want my friends children to be a statistic either. 80% of inmates NATIONWIDE have been through the foster care system at one point in their lives. Up to 70% of foster children have been affected by alcohol. These stats are frightening. Alcohol exposure in utero leads to permanent brain damage. Brain damage that includes but is not limited to: loss of executive brain function, poor impulse control, hyperactivity, poor memory, lower IQ, learning disabilities, stunted emotional growth (fewer than 10% of people with FASD are able to achieve success with working and living independently).

So where do we go from here? Well, I'm praying that God will pave a clear path for me and honestly, I'm doing this one step at a time through Him.

If you have a child with FASD and are reading this, please let me know if you would like to help (even praying is GREATLY appreciated). Right now we are in the planning and development stage and I am unclear on a lot of things. I am very excited to be doing this and will share at a later time how it all came to be in the first place.

That's all for now since it's nearly midnight and I still need to clean up the house a bit before I hit the sack. Until next time.......

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