Cheering for Austyan in Seattle

     Hello my name is David Marquardt. We are a family of 6 from Auburn, Indiana, my wife Monica, our 2 boys Austyan & Christian, and our 2 girls Ryleigh & Kennedy. We are an active and lively household, in spite of the boys both being diagnosed with Autism.
     All of our children are involved with different functions, from events with the church to sports at school. Both boys compete in several sports with our local Special Olympics program - Special Olympics Dekalb County Indiana.
     This past summer Special Olympics Indiana honored our local program by naming them as the county program that will put together the ONE basketball team from the state of Indiana to compete at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games as part of Team Indiana. The 2018 USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington, July 1-6 2018. The team is made up of 10 athletes and 3 coaches, our son Austyan was one of the athletes selected to be part of this team. Each athlete and coaches costs for the event is covered thru Special Olympics Indiana fundraising efforts.
     From the time that the announcement was made for Team Indiana, we have been checking on hotels and different ways of getting to Seattle to cheer for Austyan and the rest of Team Indiana. We have tried on numerous occasions to start putting money aside to save the needed funds to get to Seattle. Every time we turn around, there just seems to be some new curve ball that life seems to hurl our way. It had reached the point we accepted the fact that we would not be able to watch our son compete in this once in a life time event. We even went as far as to sit down with Austyan and have conversations about the fact that more than likely we would not be making it to Seattle. We could tell that it bothered him, even though he said that it was ok. 
    With the games happening July 1-6, 2018, there is only a few short months left to be able to put the funds together to be able to go to Seattle and help Austyan have a more enjoyable experience, because he knows that he has his parents cheering from the sideline while he and his teammates compete for the gold. Any help that anyone is willing to provide is greatly appreciated. If we achieve our fund raising goal, we will be able to surprise him with the news of us being able to travel out to Seattle and be with him during this journey. Thank you and well wishes to anyone donating and sending us to Seattle to cheer for our son Austyan.


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David Marquardt 
Auburn, IN
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