Monday, January 02, 2006

ART TO CURE AUTISM

One of the nice things about the internet is that you don’t have to actually meet people in order to make their acquaintance. Sometimes it just takes the exchange of a couple of comments. In response to my last post, Hal Betzhold left the following comment:
Wade,

Hope you and your family have a fantastic new year! You and my daughter, Amber, will now be happy. Our blog is up and running! I want to thank you for your blog. My wife and I have found it enlightening and inspiring. It’s great to hear a voice of reason. Check out our blog; we’d love to hear from you.

Well, you just gotta know there’s a story behind that one

Like a lot of bloggers, I like to take a look at the referral list I can access through Site Meter to see how people find this site. It’s fascinating to see the search terms that triggers a good Google hit, although I can’t say that I’ve had any of the truly weird searches leading folks here that other bloggers have discovered. I also enjoy finding out what pages that link to mine are providing hits. Not long ago, I came across a hit that originated from Art to Cure Autism, and I had to check out what kind of a site had such an intriguing name.

What I found was a site that was not yet fully up and running, but it had a great look. There was one test post, complete with a couple of posts from a young lady named Amber, imploring her father to get with the program and start blogging. I couldn’t resist seconding that motion. And several days later, I was delighted to see Hal’s comment. I immediately went to the site, and I’m happy to report it is well worth a visit.

Hal Betzhold is an artist, who lives with his wife, Linda, their 12-year old daughter, the aforementioned Amber, and their 10-year old son, Beau. Beau is on the spectrum, and he is the reason for the blog. As Hal writes:
Like many children of this epidemic, Beau is a hero. In his short life of only ten years, he has had more adversity and hardship than many people ever see. His world has often been a place of confusion, frustration and physical pain. Like most heroes, Beau faces each day with the courage and determination to be and do the best he can. Many times people have asked me or my wife, Linda, “How do you guys do it? You must be special people to be able to deal with your son’s illness.” The truth of the matter is we don’t feel special at all. There are many times that we find ourselves discouraged and exhausted, feverishly praying that Beau’s autism would just disappear so we can get our lives back. What keeps me answering the bell, no matter what round it may be, is my personal hero, Beau. How do we do it -- with the inspiration of the bravest ten year old boy I know. How do we not give it everything we’ve got?

Those bold words -- and the use of the “C” word in the blog’s name -- will likely draw fire from some quarters. As for myself, however, I admire this family’s spirit, their determination, and their words. And make no mistake about it, this blog is a family project. For the first couple of posts, Hal obviously had a little help from Linda. Those posts include a wonderful personal remembrance of Liz Birt.

But don’t get the impression that Hal’s sitting back and letting Linda and Amber do all the heavy lifting. The site includes several pieces of Hal’s art. For a modest sum, prints are available, with all of the proceeds going to help defray the costs of Beau’s biomedical treatment (sounds like they’ve gotten the same response from their health insurer we’ve gotten).

Art to Cure Autism is clearly a family project: a family project born in love. I am happy to have made the acquaintance of this family, and I look forward to getting to know them a little better in 2006.

Welcome to the bloggosphere, Hal, Linda, Amber, and especially Beau.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Thanks for introducing Art to Cure Autism--you're a true autismland ambassador for all of us.

1/3/06, 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Hal Betzold said...

Wow! Wade, thank you so much for the kind words about our new blog. It is truly an honor to make your acquaintance and if you are a typical citizen of the bloggosphere then this is one classy place! I look forward to getting to know you and your family as well. Thanks again for your generosity and support.

The Betzold Family

1/3/06, 9:41 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

Thanks for the intro to yet another great site. I am looking forward to reading more on Art to Autism.

1/4/06, 8:45 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home