Hope 4 Hanna was started in May 2008 by its founding board members: Justin Alderson, Kristen Alderson, Joshua Belden, and Lene` Belden. The inspiration for their vision is Johanna (“Hanna”) Belden, who was diagnosed in October 2006 with Autism Spectrum Disorder shortly after her second birthday.
The mission of Hope 4 Hanna is to help create a less challenging road for families dealing with the disorder. Once diagnosed, every child with autism faces a set of new expectations and responsibilities including, but not limited to behavioral and biomedical interventions, occupational and speech therapies, dietary restrictions, individual education planning, specialized playdates and socialization classes. The families have the task of introducing these new schedules and interventions into their homes, while trying to maintain normalcy.
Since the inaugural race in October 2009, Hope 4 Hanna has raised and donated over $300,000 to organizations such as Autism Speaks, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), ACT Today! and many others. In addition to monies being used for research of cures and prevention, Hope 4 Hanna has funded biomedical scholarships, socialization groups, Spanish language advocacy and marriage counseling for families in financial need. The annual resource fair held in conjunction with the race, is a wealth of information for families seeking answers about anything from diagnosis, to legal issues, to a variety of therapies. Please support Hope 4 Hanna in their continued efforts to find a cause, find a cure, and help people to accept and embrace the uniqueness of those individuals afflicted with autism.