Tyler Aldrich is a loving son, devoted runner, a hero to the autism community, and a true inspiration.

Aldrich devoted both mind and body in June 2016 to making a difference. Aldrich pledged to complete a 220-mile run from opposite ends of Ohio to spread autism awareness. His journey started in Toledo, OH and ended in Cincinnati, OH. Aldrich trained for over six months in preparation. Days before he embarked on his journey, he told the News Messenger, “In life you have three choices: You can give up. You can give in, or you can give it your all.” And he gave it his all!

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Aldrich ran about 20 miles a day for two weeks to complete the 220-mile run. He crossed the finish line on Monday, June 28, 2016 with the love and support of his friends, family, and the world behind him. You can see the day by day and mile by mile journey he took here.

Aldrich combined both his passions for spreading autism awareness and for running to make a statement to the world. Unlike many people, Aldrich was not intimidated by the obstacles he faced. Instead, he embraced them and helped make a difference in the lives of people with similar obstacles. “He’s living with autism and he’s using his passion for running to make a difference in the lives of people who live with autism. It’s for the kids,” said his mother, Tami Aldrich to local news station WLWT5. Courageous Aldrich not only overcame the obstacles in his life but used them to show the world that autism can be both an obstacle and a symbol for courage.

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Tami Aldrich shared with News Messenger that, “We just want the Fremont community to embrace Tyler. The run is not just about the autism community, it’s about anyone dealing with challenges. When Tyler was diagnosed (at age 4), about 1 in 500 kids were diagnosed. Now, about 1 in 68 are diagnosed with autism.” Like many child with autism, when Aldrich was diagnosed his mother was told that he may not speak, may not graduate high school, and may not have the ability to be independent. Aldrich overcame every single one of those odds. He graduated high school in 2013, and in May 2016 was the commencement speaker for Terra State Community College, where he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. In Fall 2016, Aldrich will be attending Tiffin University to pursue his bachelor’s degree. Tyler-Aldrich-American-Autism-Association113458760_919725268156681_7538680685271009182_o Aldrich told News Messenger, “The meaning of my life is to find my gift. The purpose of my life is to give it away. My purpose is greater than my challenges. I am not what happens to me, I am what I choose to become, and the best is yet to come.”

Are you interested in running for a cause like Tyler? Chat with us today about how you can make a difference.

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