MILWAUKEE -- More than 2,000 people packed the Summerfest grounds along Milwaukee's lakefront for Dylan's Run/Walk Sunday morning, September 9th. It's an event that brings awareness and support to people living with autism.
Dylan Schwartz's family's path changed 12 years ago when their youngest son, Dylan was diagnosed with autism. It was at a time when one in every 500 children was diagnosed with the disability.
"We realized because we had an older son that he wasn't meeting all of his milestones," Dylan's mom Dawn Schwartz said.
Dylan's family organized a two-mile run and walk to cheer on other families and let them know they're not alone. Money raised goes toward research and help.
"It's an opportunity to show other people the diagnosis isn't anything that's going to limit you. It just changes your path," Dylan's dad, Scott Schwartz said.
The event started with a couple hundred participants in 2001 and now has more than 2,000. As it grows, so do the statistics. One in every 88 children will be diagnosed with autism.
"This is a way families can get together to show their support for an individual family that might be dealing with autism," Emily Levine with the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin said.
Dylan Schwartz is now 15 years old and is living with autism, with his family behind him and thousands showing they care.
"You always want them to grow and learn and to become a caring, giving, loved person, and that's what Dylan is," Scott Schwartz said.
All of the money raised will go to the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin. The funds will stay in Wisconsin for research in the state.