HARRISONBURG, Va. - Aaron Wills is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with autism when he was three.
"He senses things and see the world in a way that we can't imagine, " says his grandmother, Patricia Foster.
Saturday his family and more than a thousand others ran in the Shenandoah Valley Autism Run.
The 5K was held at Eastern Mennonite University, and it's to benefit the Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership.
Lynda Chandler Capaccio is an organizer of the event and has a son who has autism.
She says the money raised from this race is a big help for families like hers.
"A lot of the therapies aren't covered by health insurance, we have to have fundraisers like this in order for families to be able to provides services to their children," says Capaccio.
Henry Hoy ran in the race for his friend Emmitt Lowe who was recently diagnosed with autism.
"Emmitt was a pretty interesting child but we could never find out what he was saying because of the autism," says Hoy.
Henry says he's known Emmitt since birth and hopes there will be a cure.
"I think autism could be resolved with science," says Hoy
That resolution is something a lot of people here hope for and it's those children that bring out the crowds for races like this.
"They're part of our community, they're our children," says Aaron's mom.
"Having a community behind you, is wonderful, it's wonderful," says Lynda Capaccio.
Around $25,000 total came in from today's run and you can still donate to the Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership by visiting https://www.raceit.com/Fundraising/?event=24955
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