Being a dad comes with several responsibilities and obligations, but it’s when fathers go above the call of duty that they can truly have a major impact on their kids. Nick Nickerson is one such father who goes the extra mile… ok… 3,000 miles. The 73-year-old Chapel Hill father is running for a reason: raising funds and awareness for autism research.
It’s an issue close to his heart as Nick’s son Adam lives with Autism. Adam works at Extraordinary Ventures, a company founded with a goal of creating more neuro-diversity in the business world. They work to connect differently-abled individuals with real workforce opportunities such as pet care, office work, and sales. The goal being to provide needed services while creating paid job opportunities for people who may have not otherwise had an option.
After seeing his son achieve so much, Nick decided to find a way to not only raise funds for autism research, but to share Adam’s story, and the story of so many other Americans who only wish to be included and contribute.
Refusing to let his age be a factor, Nick found a way to reach his incredible goal of 3,000 miles by entering several 5k and 10k races, many of which benefitted Autism research organizations. Often Adam is right with him, running alongside his proud father and reminding us how incredibly out-of-shape most of us likely are in comparison. 5k? I’d personally be lucky to finish a 100 meter these days.
Now those races have seriously stacked up. It has taken Nick almost three years, but he now has the finish line in-sight, marking his official 2,910th mile recently in the Autism Society of NC Raleigh 5K. While his run is now nearly complete, Nick, and advocates like him, know they have much further to go in the race to understand autism.
The CDC estimates 1 in 59 children are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. It’s a staggering number considering many Americans had only even heard the word autism a few decades ago. Nick telling local affiliate WRAL recently “If we don’t research autism, it’s just going to become the disability of the century.” Thankfully, individuals and organizations are working each and every day to find the answers.
Cheers, Nick, and every other dad who steps up in a big way.
To follow Nick’s finish or to donate to the cause, visit 3000milesforautism.org.