Albion woman is top fundraiser for autism awareness walk

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers  – Janna Stirk gives her son, Brody, a hug during a stop today at Bullard Park in Albion. Janna has raised the most money, $1,380 as of Monday evening, in a Sept. 20 walk to benefit autism awareness and services for the Rochester/Finger Lakes region.

ALBION – When he was 18 months old, Brody Stirk started getting services to help with his speech. He continues to receive speech and occupational therapy at Rainbow Preschool.

His mother, Janna Stirk, believes those services and an early diagnosis of autism have helped Brody be highly functioning.

“When he was first diagnosed, it was overwhelming,” Stirk said about her son. “But now we celebrate it.”

Brody is 3 1/2 and is in Rainbow Preschool. His mother said the program provides many services to help Brody with his verbal skills and to understand and use his sensory skills.

Janna and her husband Morgan Stirk used many services and information from Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advovacy organization. When Mrs. Stirk saw the Rochester/Finger Lakes region was having a beneft walk on Sept. 20 for Autism Speaks, she and many of Brody’s family and friends signed up for the walk at Monroe Community College’s Brighton Campus.

Stirk also had been good at asking for donations for the cause. In fact, the $1,380 she has raised by herself is the most of anyone in the Rochester/Finger Lakes. Click here to visit the Autism Speaks website.

Stirk is also part of “Team Brody,” which is up to $1,745 in donations. The team has a $2,000 fund-raising goal.

Stirk has used Facebook and other social media to rally support for the cause.

She would like to try another walk in the spring, but this time would like the proceeds to stay in Orleans County and help Rainbow Preschool.

“The services for Brody have made a big difference,” she said. “He’s really come a long way.”