3,000 miles: 73-year-old Chapel Hill dad runs for autism research

— A 73-year-old Chapel Hill father is running 3,000 miles to help fund autism research and support his son.

Nick Nickerson’s son, Adam, lives with autism, but it hasn’t kept him from earning a paycheck at Extraordinary Ventures, where he provides services like dog walking.

In honor of Adam, Nickerson is running 3,000 miles to raise money to better understand autism. At first, his goal was to run coast-to-coast, but he said his age has prevented him from going that far.

Instead, Nickerson runs the 3,000 miles in chunks, participating in 5K and 10K races. He runs many of them with Adam — recently, the two participated in the Autism Society of NC Raleigh 5K on Oct. 12.

Nick Nickerson (right) runs a 5K with his son, Adam

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 59 children are now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Early intervention provides the best opportunity to support healthy development.

“What autism does is it prevents the person from becoming the best ‘you,’ the best person that you could be,” Nickerson said. “If we don’t research autism, it’s just going to become the disability of the century.”

Nickerson said his running sneakers have seen 2,910 miles of pavement. His fundraising total is just shy of $10,000.

“I’ve only got 90 miles to go, so I’m looking at a month, or a little over a month, and I’ll be done with this,” he said.

Nickerson runs each race holding a sign that promotes his campaign, 3,000 Miles for Autism. The sign keeps track of his progress.

You can follow along with his journey on his website.

Published at Tue, 19 Nov 2019 12:03:48 +0000

Source: https://www.wral.com/3-000-miles-73-year-old-chapel-hill-dad-runs-for-autism-research/18777527/