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Final Word: Thank you, KTAR listeners, for your generosity

KTAR listeners are awesome. You care and when you see a need in the community, you respond.

Not that we give you much choice, mind you.

From 5 a.m. Wednesday until the D-backs game at 6:10 p.m., we hounded you. We brought you story after story, statistic after statistic, and interview after interview about how autism has affected our community.

How 1-in-64 Arizona kids will get a diagnosis. How each day, someone's family in your part of town is changed forever when a doctor tells the parents "your child has autism."

Getting a special needs diagnosis is never good news. I remember getting a phone call that my daughter had a neurological condition that she would never over come. I remember the doctor telling me that I should find a place for Laura where people could properly take care of her incredible needs.

I remember thinking the floor was falling away and I was falling with it.

I remember being very sure that I wouldn't survive. And parents get that same kind of feeling every day when they are told that their baby has autism.

They think they'll never get to take that child to his first day at school or a friend's birthday party.

But then someone tells them about the Southwestern Autism Research and Resource Center and everything changes.

Their kids get early intervention, encouragement, tools.

Hope.

And slowly, sometimes painfully slowly, those kids begin to reverse the downward spiral they are in. As they do, so do Mom and Dad.

SAARC was born because one very smart and determined mom decided that for her son, Matt, a diagnosis simply wasn't enough. She rounded up her smartest and most passionate friends and began to build the center that is now the premier research and resource center for families with autism in the nation.

Denise Resnik and Dr. Raun Melmed, you are brilliant. You keep the floor from falling away when a family gets news they can't begin to understand.

For my family, the Foundation for Blind Children, United Cerebral Palsy and Phoenix Children's Hospital were those lifesavers. They have my undying gratitude.

Every day in the Valley, agencies like these do the unseen, lifesaving work to keep families together and thriving through the worst of times. And yesterday, you, KTAR listeners, gave back to SAARC to the tune of more than $350,000.

Thank you.

But don't let that generosity ever stop, okay? Keep giving. Find that cause that moves you, whatever the reason and give.

Give your time, give your money, give your voice. Because those agencies are the safety net for families that save them from the day they never saw coming.

About the Author


Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.

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