Adrienne’s journey to Hawaii
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Adrienne Bunn is a 17-year-old autistic woman. Through determination, hard work and a love for sport she has overcome adversity to prove that a diagnosis does not define an individual – and that women and girls everywhere can make their dreams a reality.
On October 14, 2023, Adrienne hopes to receive a World Record for Youngest Autistic Woman to Complete an Ironman when she competes in the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
Help Adrienne achieve this ambition and Make the Nevers PossibleTM for other individuals like herself by following her journey, sharing her story and contributing towards her fundraiser!
Adrienne was diagnosed with autism aged 4. Despite her parents’ concern about missing developmental markers, hyperactivity and meltdowns, diagnosis was an uphill struggle due to medical professionals’ dismissal of her behaviors as lack of parental discipline.
This lack of support continued into Adrienne’s school career. Bullying meant she moved school often. Her behavior in class led to the insistence of teachers that she was medicated. No support was offered to her or her family.
Shortly after starting medication, Adrienne was a shell of her former self with little of her natural personality or energy. At this time she was also given a task in P.E class to run circuits of the school parking lot. This was a turning point for Adrienne.
The circuits were predictable, she could run them independently and her progress was measurable as she would receive a token for each circuit completed from her teacher.
Soon after, Adrienne was using running as a strategy with which to navigate her life and was even joined on her adventures by therapy dog Otis! She began to regulate her anxiety and agitation with exercise. Running had transformed her quality of life entirely.
Since beginning her journey with running Adrienne has competed in over 25 races. Through these events Adrienne has gained confidence, self-esteem and unconditional acceptance in the sporting community. These monumental strides were all made possible by physical activity.
Adrienne’s love for running, swimming and cycling combines perfectly in triathlon. Her ultimate goal is to cross the finish line at the Ironman World Championship held on October 14 2023 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. In doing so she will travel 140.6 miles, and every step will prove the power of sport in the lives of those with autism. She also hopes to achieve the World Record for Youngest Autistic Woman to Complete an Ironman.
Adrienne hopes that her showcase of resilience on the world stage will inspire other women and others with autism to make their own dreams a reality.
You can help Adrienne achieve her goal by donating to her target. These funds will allow her to travel and compete in the Ironman World Championship, shining a light on how she has overcome the adversities she has faced from autism and inspiring others to do the same.
Adrienne turned 18 on July 22 and the next day competed in the Ohio 70.3 Ironman. She raced it beautifully with her guide, Dan, and they completed the race in a blazing time of 5:39. With this performance, she became the youngest person with autism to ever complete a half Ironman! Congratulations Adrienne!
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Created May 16th, 2023