Superheroes flock to Balboa Park for annual 'Race for Autism'

Posted at 11:52 AM, Mar 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-26 10:28:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Runners, walkers, families and other supporters of autism awareness. Dressing up as superheroes for the annual Race for Autism at Balboa Park. 

Participants had a blast while raising money for a good cause. All proceeds collected from going back into the community. 

The National Foundation for Autism Research distributes funds to programs and services for those with autism. 

In San Diego, there are more than 19,000 individuals and their families affected by autism, and the number is expected to grow by 1.3% each year, according to NFAR,

Christa Bailey's 10-year-old son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism at 3-years-old. 

They've been participating in the race for several years. This year, they've raised more than $3,400 for the cause.

"They do things for schools, they do things for young adults like tech training and they also do a support group or moms and dads with children with autism," said Bailey.

She said the run is encouraging for her son, who struggles to make friends.

"He loves superheroes so he will go up to all the children in different outfits and he'll talk to them if they're in a costume."

She said helping others with autism as a family brings them hope for the future.

"The support we get from our family and friends, he feels it and he gets excited and he gets really amped up," said Bailey. 

NFAR's goal is to raise more than $200,000. They will be taking donations until April 2, 2017.