GoodLife Fitness to 'light it up blue' for World Autism Awareness Day

CEO urges Canadians to show support for those affected by autism spectrum disorder

LONDON, ON, March 30, 2017 /CNW/ - GoodLife Fitness will illuminate its Home Office building in blue lights this Sunday, April 2, as part of the 'Light it Up Blue' campaign to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

After his daughter Kilee was diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder at age two and a half, GoodLife Fitness founder and CEO David 'Patch' Patchell-Evans made it his mission to support awareness and research to help Canadians living with autism spectrum disorder, which now affects one in every 68 Canadian children. Patch urges Canadian businesses and individuals to find their own ways to 'light it up blue' for autism awareness.

"My daughter, who is now 21, continues to teach me important lessons about gratitude, perseverance and joy," says Patch, who was awarded the 2007 Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour for his support of autism initiatives. "On April 2, the world celebrates how far we have come in autism education, research, early diagnosis, and awareness. A lot of hard work is yet to be done, but I am comforted knowing these kids and adults are in the hearts and minds of so many caring people around the globe."

On Friday, March 31, GoodLife Fitness will host a 'Bluetique' event for staff at their Home Office. Associates can donate to autism research and treat themselves to a blue manicure or blue hair chalk to mark the occasion and generate conversations, awareness and support for families and individuals living with autism. Patch kicked off the events, and conversations, this week by painting the 'light it up blue' logo on his face.

To date, GoodLife's CEO has donated $11.5 million to autism-related initiatives. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Patch co-founded the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group with renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Derrick MacFabe.
  • In November of 2016, the Pacific Autism Family Network opened the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub, made possible by a $5 million commitment from GoodLife Fitness and a $20 million development grant from the Province of British Columbia. The new facility is the first of its kind and seeks to advance autism research, learning, treatment and supports for families.

Patch highlights the challenges he had when his daughter was first diagnosed saying that, "help was virtually non-existent."

"I applaud Autism Speaks Canada and the many organizations that are working hard to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder and for the fantastic resources they have created to help educate the public," says Patch.

"The 'Light It Up Blue' campaign celebrates World Autism Awareness Day by encouraging people to spread awareness and increased understanding about autism, leading us all to a more inclusive community. We rely on companies like GoodLife Fitness to lead the way by keeping autism top-of-mind and support families and individuals living with autism spectrum disorder," said Jill Farber, Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada. "Thank you, GoodLife, for your leadership,"

For Canadians looking to get involved, Autism Speaks Canada offers resources, like social media tools and fundraising materials, to make it easy to participate in the 'Light it up Blue' campaign. The Autism Speaks Canada website offers more information about support those living with autism spectrum disorder.

About GoodLife Fitness
Proudly Canadian since 1979, GoodLife Fitness is the largest fitness club chain in Canada and the fourth largest overall in the world. With over 375 clubs from coast-to-coast, including GoodLife Fitness, Fit4Less by GoodLife and ÉconoFitness Clubs, approximately 13,300 employees and more than 1.3 million members, GoodLife is helping to transform the health and wellness of 1 in 28 Canadians.  www.goodlifefitness.com

About Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks Canada is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.  We do this through collaboration with community partners; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.  Through partnerships and collaboration, we are committed to: 

  • Increasing global understanding & acceptance of autism
  • Being a catalyst for research breakthroughs
  • Increasing early-childhood screenings & timely interventions
  • Improving the transition to adulthood
  • Ensuring access to reliable information & services throughout the life span.

Go to www.autismspeaks.ca to learn more.

SOURCE GoodLife Fitness

For further information: Media Contact: Adam Roberts, Public Relations Senior Specialist, GoodLife Fitness, mediarelations@goodlifefitness.com, 226-377-1815

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