Austin 20 years old and is on the Autism Spectrum. He has a untouchable passion for life. He is funny .He is kind and the most genuine person you will ever meet. He has a tendency to leave a lasting impression with anyone he comes in contact with.
He has grown with a passion for knights, castles, swords, treasure and dragons and he loves to tell stories. Austin loves knowledge, drawing and books. But his one drawback , although “ high functioning” he was not able to read or write. He became very discouraged especially as his peers and younger sisters far surpassed him. He wasn’t about to let that stop him. At the age of 10 he announced one day that he was going to be somebody, he was going to write a book and it was going to be published! We encouraged Austin daily that if he could learn to read and write he could indeed write his own stories and maybe just one day if he worked hard enough it would be a book. For years Austin worked daily on both his reading and writing , in school and at home with his parents and sisters. Over the course of years he began to be able to read on his own ,write and even draw his own stories.
Yes, a book has been 10 years in the making! This book quickly became who he is. The passion and thought he placed into every detail would make anyone’s head spin. Every character to him is real and has a story. This book became his life, it gave him a reason to be. You see Austin has never really had any friends to hang out with and will probably never really date, get married, have a family, have a carrier or be able to live solely on his own. All of the things which have over time have defined who you and I are.
Austin’s book may not be your typical book but to him it is a milestone for not only us as his parents. (We were told when Austin was three that he would never walk or talk and were encouraged to place him in an institution.)We refused knowing he could and would be so much more! Austin did just that! He has done everything a “normal” boy has done including getting a job at 16 working as a bagger at a local grocery store one day a week – where he as saved all his money to publish his long awaited book. We are so proud to announce that after all his hard work and dedication, he has completed his first book. We have spent the last year fine tuning and searching for a place that would be willing to publish it. I received a very exciting long awaited phone call from Covenant Publishing as they have accepted and agreed to publish Austin’s book. Tears of joy rolled down my face. I learn so much from this boy every single day. I sat back trying to absorb the great news and it was then that it hit me. He really did it!
He wasn’t supposed to walk, talk and he not only climbed every mountain that was placed in front of him he soared high above them! I have taken so much in life for granted. I want to be just like Austin. He is such an inspiration to a world in such desperate need. He redefines success, hope and determination. Austin has beat all odds against him. We are so proud of him for not listening to the world and always standing by his motto……”Never Give Up”
Our hope is that others can see and feel the magic of his story and perseverance and all the while help to make his dream come true.
As you can imagine everything comes at a cost. Austin up to this point has funded his dream himself. Recently Austin has been having issues with a heart condition and is no longer able to work. He would be completely devastated if publishing his book does not go forward. I won’t let that happen. I am launching a campaign to make his dream come true. I am setting a goal to raise the $4000 needed so I can give my son his one true purpose. I am asking you -if you can- to join me. I want the world to see that there is hope and that if a boy with all the odds stacked against him will “ Never Give Up” we shouldn’t either.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
- Greg Bowen
- Devin Dickman
- Seth Beatty
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