Carson Swazey, 19, has once again garnered international support online after his mom, Amanda Kinney, shared his weight-loss journey online.
In July, Carson first gained attention through a plant fundraiser he held outside his home in Coaldale to create an entire sensory room.
Carson has autism and is non-verbal, and Kinney says the sensory room is an extremely helpful escape for Carson.
“It brings him so much joy,” she said. “It helps stimulate him but also calm him, it’s very beneficial for his well-being.”
Now, the family is sharing Carson’s weight-loss journey, which began several months ago. Along with a Keto diet and indoor exercise equipment, Carson has found a certain activity that motivates him to get moving.
“Carson recently lost a lot of weight, 75 pounds — actually over 75 pounds — and part of his weight loss success was daily trips to the mailbox,” Kinney explained.
However, when he started to find less and less mail coming in, he lost motivation to go on his walks. In an effort to prevent that, Kinney took to Facebook, expecting a few friends to see her request.
“It was so surprising,” Kinney said of the thousands of shares and hundreds of comments the post received. “I knew from before people are kind and people are generous.”
Commenters from the Maritimes to Illinois, and many shared their personal stories and congratulations to Carson, saying they would be sending mail to his P.O. box in the near future.
Brandon Rudics, vice-president of the Chinook Autism Society, says when he heard about Carson’s weight loss journey and the support it has garnered, he felt extremely inspired.
He says the current pandemic has had a negative impact on those in the Autism community.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of regression, them not wanting to leave their rooms, stuff like that,” Rudics explained.
“So to hear a story like this, where he’s getting out more, and getting healthy [at] the same time, it’s amazing.”
Rudics adds if there’s anyone you know who could use a little kindness, sending letters is a great way to do so.
“It’s been a tough time, so little acts like that is just huge for any of us in the community here,” Rudics said.
In terms of what Carson likes to get in the mail: Amanda says he isn’t picky.
“It’s more the enjoyment of receiving it and opening it, so letters, cards, anything,” she said.