EJ Autism Foundation In The News:

Daily News October 31, 2010

Beatrice Huste-Petersen, 46, from East Islip, L.I.

New York moms are known for going above and beyond, but few people could fill Beatrice Huste-Petersen’s running shoes.

The busy mother of four, who works nights at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has two sons diagnosed with autism.

Rather than throw herself a pity party, however, she founded the EJ Autism Foundation, named after her affected sons, Eric and Jack, to raise awareness and support the programs and schools on Long Island working with autism.

“Everything about EJ is coal in my furnace,” she says. “It just helps me move forward.”

She ran her first New York Marathon to raise autism awareness 19 years ago.

“I knew we had something here, because I raised $11,000,” she says proudly.

This year, her team has already pulled $17,000 and is aiming to hit $25,000 in donations before next week”s race.

“We want to donate Wiis and iPads to the schools, which brings out social interaction, sharing and other important skills that these kids struggle with,” she says. “The big national organizations are great, but their finger isn”t on the pulse of the local community the way ours is.” She manages to squeeze in running time between shifts, soccer practice and making supper. One a recent particularly manic day, she woke up at 2 p.m. after working the night shift to greet her kids coming home from school, and then shuttled them to soccer, where she ran laps around the field while they practiced. Then she came home and got dinner before going back to work.

“It’s a long day,” she says. “I get my downtime when driving to and from work, when I”ve got my music blaring.”

But there’s no question about completing the race. “When I ask you to make a donation to my organization, I’m running as best as I can,” she says. “If my running can inspire someone else to do the exactly the same thing, how beautiful would that be?”

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