Father Dedicates 500-mile Bike Ride to Raise Awareness about Florida Autism Legislation

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Founder of Non-Profit Autism Conquers Seeks 10,000 Signatures for Reform.

“This is a very personal journey for me, but at the same time I’m representing the families of the1.5 million Americans living with the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorders,”

Jorge Zighelboim will cycle more than 500 miles from Miami to Tallahassee on November 14th to collect signatures for a petition he introduced via Change.org to reform Florida’s Autism Insurance Mandate.

Jorge Zighelboim founded the non-profit organization Autism Conquers as he embarked on a personal journey to change the insurance mandate of the Florida Autism Legislation after its implications hit close to home. His daughter Gaby was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder in 2008 and Zighelboim amounted close to half a million dollars in behavioral therapy and medical treatments to treat his baby girl’s condition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c72MBnWayXk&feature=youtu.be

According to Florida´s insurance mandate to cover children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, insurance coverage is limited to $36,000 per year and $200,000 total lifetime benefit (1).Fed up with the vicious cycle of insurance claims, denials to pay or reimburse expenses, Zighelboim moved his family to Massachusetts where the state laws would enable his daughter to continue receiving treatment. However, he couldn’t turn his back on so many families he met in Florida and decided to seek reform.

As part of his bicycle ride, Zighelboim seeks to create awareness about the non-profit he created to honor his daughter Gaby and reform Florida’s Insurance Mandate. He hopes to engage more parents to support Autism Conquers and his plight to collect the remaining signatures to introduce the petition to the state legislature. He is planning to ride again next February to the steps of the Florida Senate in the state’s capital where he hopes to hand deliver the petition.

“This is a very personal journey for me, but at the same time I’m representing the families of the1.5 million Americans living with the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” said Jorge Zighelboim, founder of Autism Conquers. “We need to advocate for the families who face a lifetime of caring for their children.”

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it is estimated that it costs $3.2 million to take care of an individual with autism over his/her entire life—well beyond the insurance lifetime benefit currently allowed in the state of Florida.

The CDC reports that 1 in 50 school-aged children have Autism Spectrum Disorders and Zighelboim wants to champion for this initiative by visiting communities throughout the state and personally asking Floridians to join the cause.

To sign the petition started by Autism Conquers to reform Florida’s Autism Insurance Mandate, please visit Change.org at: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-florida-senate-reform-florida-s-autism-insurance-mandate. You can also find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutismConquers and Twitter @AutismConquers.

(1) Florida Statutes

About Autism Conquers

In 2012, Jorge Zighelboim created Autism Conquers, a non-profit organization whose main objective is to change the current insurance mandate in the state of Florida. Autism Conquers launched an online petition through Change.org and has collected 2,114 signatures to date. The petition still needs 7,886 more signatures in order to reach the 10,000. For more information about Autism Conquers, please visit: http://www.autismconquers.org.

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Reyna Plus Communications & PR Group

Hilda Welcker
+1 305 244 7923

Chuky Reyna
+1 (917) 817 2717

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