MICHALA RIGGLE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
During a game break at the KFC World Cup, I met 13-year old Michala Riggle – whose determined efforts to help her brother and others with autism has led to a fund-raising foundation attracting attention all over the country. At KFC, Michala, a softball player from Kentucky, gave out hand-made bracelets to players, bracelets which are both a symbol of the effort to beat autism and a fund-raising mechanism for the Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation.
Very heartwarming story. Told by a very engaging young lady; we talked a bit about softball but mostly about her little brother; when she handed a bracelet after telling the story, you came away believing that Michala will succeed. Her story:
Her youngest brother, Evan, is autistic. In February 2006, Evan began receiving IV infusions of an amino acid called Glutathione. Evan was the 1st Glutathione IV patient at Kosair. He gets these IVs every week and they have been very helpful in Evan’s battle to overcome autism. Evan responded so well to this medical treatment that Kosair physicians decided they wanted to do a medical study using the same IV protocol on more kids with autism, but they didn’t have the money to do it. Even though Evan, was already getting this very helpful therapy, Michala wanted other kids battling autism to be able to get these IVs as well. ($200,000 was needed for the study)
She gave her mother $7.35 and said, “It’s not enough but you can have it for the study.” She continued, “I’m going to make more bracelets and I’m going to raise that money.”Michala believed that thousands of beaded bracelets sold for $3.00 each would raise the $200,000 that Kosair needed to conduct the study. Michala, full of hope and ambition was ready to take on the challenge and raise the needed funds one bead and one bracelet at a time! Realizing the magnitude of such a goal, Michala’s brother, Dawson, said to her, “Michala – you can’t raise $200,000 making bracelets!” Michala’s response: “Dawson – it’s like playing a ball game. If you go into the game thinking you are going to lose – game over. “You gotta believe!”
God did indeed multiply the volunteers, the bracelets and the money! “In just 6 months, Michala and her “Peeps”, through sales, donations and a one-time $100,000 gift from a private family foundation that did not previously know Michala, raised nearly $300,000 for the fund that Kosair Children’s Hospital named, “The Michala Riggle Glutathione Autism Research Fund”. But that wasn’t all…having already reached and surpassed the original goal for the autism study at Kosair, Michala now believes she can raise $300,000,000 to build a world-class autism center in Louisville! What a dream.
To date, Michala and her team have: raised over $350,000.00, created a private foundation(Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation, Inc.), assembled a Board of Directors and announced part two of her fundraising plans: Sell one million bracelets in every state, build the most comprehensive, autism research and treatment center in the world and eradicate autism forever! The infrastructure and logistics to fulfill this $300 million dollar challenge are nearly in place and a national campaign will launch before years end. The name of the center will be the:”We Believe!” International Autism Research and Treatment Center
Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation, Inc.PO Box 991264Louisville Kentucky 40269-1264