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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley leads autism walk while eyeing gubernatorial run

Daniel Boothe

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley led the third annual Blue Bridge Walk for Autism Wednesday evening, as hundreds of people followed him in the walk across the Grand River. Prior to the march, Calley told the crowd that the time to had come for people to move past society's casual acceptance of autism. 

“We’ve had this movement for awareness and to raise awareness of what autism is," Calley said.  "We need now to go to the next step, and really be about inclusion."

Calley, who has a 10-year old daughter with autism, says his daughter inspires him every day to live up to his own potential.

“She is teaching me every day to not establish limits or predetermine what the outcome is," Calley said. "She has amazing ability and she is so smart. And when she is supported in the right way, I just believe there is no limit to what she can accomplish.”  

The Hope Network Foundation played host to the third annual walk to raise autism awareness. Hope Network Foundation President and CEO Phillip Weaver said the need to raise awareness of autism is at an all time high as the number of kids being diagnosed with the disorder continues to climb.

"Quite frankly, we are trying to bring awareness so that people understand that 1 in 68 kids today, are getting autism," Weaver said. (According to the National Autism Association, that is correct.)  "And we need to do something about that as a community, and we need to something about that for the kids and their parents,” he said.

Earlier this week, Lt. Governor Calley released an ad Monday featuring his daughter’s battle with Autism. Wide speculation began swirling around the internet that the ad was a thinly veiled campaign ad for Governor even though Calley hasn’t formally thrown his hat in the ring, nor did the ad mention a gubernatorial run. However, an announcement would be coming soon.

“You know earlier this week, I announced that there would be an announcement coming up on May 30th, so stay tuned...I'm really excited about Michigan’s future," Calley said. 

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