I went to grammar school with Jenny McCarthy. Well, actually, I was a couple grades ahead of her, but I saw her and knew of her and her family. Anyhow, I say this not to brag, because honestly…who cares? We weren’t friends. Though I’ll admit there was quite a buzz in my community of friends when she appeared in Playboy. Everyone wanted to brag about knowing her then. Though, I was on the other end where I disapproved of the whole Catholic-schoolgirl nudity thing and just ignored it.

So, why am I mentioning this? Because despite my 1 degree of separation to the star, I certainly never thought we would have any connection whatsoever. I mean, her in Hollywood, me in my little Chicago-suburb home with my big family. There were times I would see her on t.v. and think of the fact that we had similar roots starting off, and how we lived in two totally different worlds. I often thought if I met her again, there would be absolutely nothing we had in common, nothing we could talk about (save some slight reminiscing about our old neighborhood). Then, of course, Jenny came to the forefront of the autism scene.

I have to admit, it has been a sad and exhilirating ride watching this woman grab the bull by the horns and bring autism into the public spotlight. I know that she is but one of many, and there are numerous people who have championed this cause. But the bottom line is that through her notoriety and fame, Jenny has brought the cause to a lot of people who would have ignored it otherwise. Whether you agree with her or not, you have to admire her.

I have to admit, seeing her picture with Evan on People recently, I was happy for her. Happy she had found her cure. I say “her cure” because I know that gluten and cassien-free is a miracle for some kids, but not all. For us, it didn’t work, and it was a hard reality to face when you hear such success stories and have such hope. But there are so many paths to autism, and many more paths to a treatment and (possible) cures. Living with a husband who has Asperger’s, I feel my kids are genetically predisposed, so our journey is a little different, and our path to a treatment not the same. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t feel the joy for those who do find the answer they need.

I guess I am just writing an open letter to say, “good for you, Jenny.” While we walk in far different circles, I can say I’m glad to have known you, and I’m really happy for you that you found the key to getting your son back.

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