Local teen looks to take autism campaign national, make Lou. first in research

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by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 9 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A local teenager who has spent years raising money and awareness for autism said she has a big dream - to make Louisville the home of autism research.

We first introduced you to Michaela Riggle eight years ago, then just 7-years-old and already battling to find a cure for her 4-year-old brother who was diagnosed with autism. 

She started the “Beading to Beat Autism” campaign where she, along with help from others, sold hand-made beaded bracelets to raise money for autism research.

Michala is now 15-years-old and is still looking out for Evan. Evan has come a long way, but despite progress his family said autism still dominates their lives.

She started the “Beading to Beat Autism” campaign where she, along with help from others, sold hand-made beaded bracelets to raise money for autism research. After five years of selling bracelets, Michala is now taking her effort to the next level, a local campaign to raise $5 million to buy land and hire staff for a Louisville autism and research facility.

She's asking 60,000 of her Kentuckiana neighbors to pledge $7 per month for one year.
But that's just the start.  Michala hopes to take “Campaign 7” national raise hundreds of millions of dollars and make Louisville the home of autism hope. 

If it seems an unlikely dream, tell that to the ten year old Michala - who in 2007 pledged to raise $200,000 to fund the study of an unorthodox autism treatment that had helped Evan. And to everyone's surprise but her family, she did it.

The Riggle family estimates that Michala has already raised a half million dollars, but it will take a lot more to defeat autism, $7 at a time.




 

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