Ten-year-old Natalie Vogt’s little brother Ryan was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. He was brought to the UC Davis MIND Institute and, in the four years since, has made incredible strides.
“Ryan wasn't talking at age 3. He lived in his own little world. He wasn't certain of any social skills, and now is learning them weekly. The MIND has given me a place to feel at home with Ryan. The wonderful doctors and psychologists have helped us with a direction for him and finally we have a lot of hope for his future." said Ryan’s mother, Michelle Montna Vogt.
Inspired by Ryan’s progress, big sister Natalie wanted to make sure other kids with autism also had access to the MIND Institute. Natalie began her efforts with a lemonade stand and then a bake sale with her school. Then, in 2013, with the help of her community, Natalie raised almost $6800.
Natalie’s family was incredibly inspired by her generosity. Grandparents, Alfred and Gail Montna recently made their own gift to the Institute, for Ryan – and for Natalie.
“We are passionate about autism because it has affected our family,” Vogt said. “If we can help others that are going through the same thing, it would make us feel like we’re doing something significant.”