Barbara Avila’s fight against breast cancer began with a diagnosis on June 27th and surgery on July 12th. Our goal here is to support her through the process and to ensure that she has all the resources she needs and that the Synergy Autism Center (of which she is the owner and founder) can remain open until she is healthy enough to return to work.
Who is Barbara Avila?
Barb loves her work and the clients she sees as an autism consultant and family coach. She lives and breathes her work and the stories of the families she serves. When a child has a behavior challenge she broods over it just as much as the parents do. And she smiles all afternoon when a family sends in a video of baking cookies together, or putting laundry away while practicing the Relationship Development Intervention techniques she’s taught them.
Even after five years as her office manager I’m still amazed and inspired by the depth of her selflessness and her passion to support the autism community. She gives her all every day to support families touched by autism, then spends her “off hours” volunteering for the Autism Society of Oregon, studying the latest research and techniques to support people with autism, and she even ran an autism professionals group for ten years on the side! As if that wasn’t enough, this year she went back to school to study marriage and family counseling, not because she wants to make more money or bring in new business, but simply to better serve her clients.
Barb’s nature is to always put her clients first. When she first told me of the cancer diagnosis her immediate reaction wasn't to talk about herself, her health, or the challenges ahead. She was worried about how it would impact her clients!
She is a pillar in the autism community. Through Synergy she has supported over 100 families, and touched countless more through her work in the autism community. We need her to be healthy, for the 40 families she is actively supporting today and all the rest to come in the future.
While the post-surgery outcome looks positive we don't know just yet how long she will need to recover. Her doctors will know in the coming days whether or not additional treatments will be needed, but even in the best-case scenario she will be unable to work for at least a month.
The Synergy Autism Center costs an average of $2,000 to operate for a month, which covers rent, insurance, etc. This does not include Barb's personal income, only the business cost.
My goal is to raise $3,000 to ensure that Barb can take as much time as she needs to recover and that Synergy will be alive and well when she is ready to return.
If we surpass our goal the additional funds will help Barb offset the costs of being unable to work. I know she's very disappointed to put her study of marriage and family counseling on hold. Additional funds could give her the time and resources to restart that as well.
How can I help?
Donate - Every dollar helps and no donation is too small to make a difference.
Share - Spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
As we go forward I will work with Barb and her family to keep you up to date on her health and recovery. I'll be updating this campaign with news on our efforts, her health, and some stories directly from the clients she works so very hard to support.
Office Manager, Synergy Autism Center
- Melanie Gilbert
- Kim Freeman
- Gloria & Eric Chang/Powell
- Cami Stevenson
Organizer and beneficiary
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