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Two Men to Walk Across America for Autism Aid, Awareness, and Loving Memory of Young Boy

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 General News J E 4
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WORCESTER, Mass., April 14 Next month, two men from Massachusetts will begin The Elias Tembenis Walk for Autism, a year-long journey across America to raise autism awareness and funds to assist children with the diagnosis.



Robert Williams and Bobby Genese of Worcester will walk approximately 3000 miles in honor of Elias Tembenis, a seven-year-old boy with autism who passed away last November following a seizure. Tembenis family friends Williams and Genese hope to provide aid for the 1 in 150 now diagnosed with autism. "I'm honored to help," said Genese. "Even a waterfall begins with only one drop, giving rewards."



Elias was the only child of Harry and Gina Tembenis of Worcester. They wish to honor their son's memory by helping children like Elias. "We wanted to honor the light he brought to our lives by keeping the torch lit," said Gina Tembenis, "and passing that torch to other families rather than just letting that fabulous light go dark."



The walk will take place primarily on Route 50 and the American Discovery Trail, starting in San Francisco and ending in Washington DC. Proceeds will benefit the National Autism Association's Helping Hand Program, a national fund assisting families unable to afford autism therapy and medical services, and will also support autism initiatives in Elias's hometown.



ABOUT ELIAS TEMBENIS

Elias was born in the summer of 2000. After receiving vaccinations at his four-month check-up, Elias began having seizures. Within the next few months, Elias began showing signs of autism.



By age 6, Elias experienced significant leaps in progress following biomedical treatments. He began attending public school in the first grade in an inclusion program. He loved his first grade class and was proficient in reading and spelling.



To learn more about Elias and how to support The Elias Tembenis walk, visit www.nationalautismassociation.org/eliaswalk.



Corporate sponsors of the walk include Waiora and Ian's Natural Foods. To become a sponsor, or to interview Robert Williams, Bobby Genese or Harry and Gina Tembenis, write to lori@nationalautism.org.



Contacts:

Harry Tembenis (Worcester, MA) 508-852-7877

Lori McIlwain (Cary, NC) 919-741-1646



SOURCE National Autism Association
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