Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cynthia Joyner

Autism Light #292 is Cynthia Joyner.

Cynthia Wild Joyner is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has a teenage son named Matthew who has autism. Cynthia Joyner was born on December 4, 1981, and died on July 20, 2013, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Cynthia is survived by her husband Ricardo Joyner and two children, Matthew and Traci. Cynthia Joyner is an Autism Light both for her dedication as an autism mother and for the countless hours she volunteered with the Chattanooga Autism Center. Cynthia Joyner will be added today to the Autism Light Memorial Roll.

Here is a video of the news story on Cynthia Joyner's death.

Cynthia Joyner's obituary stated, "She was a fearless advocate for her son, Matthew, who has autism and volunteered countless hours of service to the Chattanooga Autism Center (Source)."

Chattanooga Autism Center: Cynthia Joyner was the 2013 Volunteer of the Year for the Chattanooga Autism Center. She was a tremendous asset to the work of this leading autism organization in Chattanooga, Tenneessee. Here are some of her contributions to the Chattanooga Autism Center according to an article by Yolanda Putman for the TimesFreePress.
  • She was the coordinator for a fundraiser at Honest Pint in 2012 that raised $10,000.
  • She worked with movie theaters to increase autism friendly showings.
  • She fostered relationships with law enforcement to educate them about autism and facilitated some children with autism meeting officers (Source).
According to Alyce Benson, a clinical social worker who sees clients at the Chattanooga Autism Center, Cynthia Joyner's mission, "was to educate people about autism and to change attitudes from being judgmental toward autistic children and their parents to being more understanding (Source)."

Cynthia Joyner played an important role in caring for her teenage son Matthew who has autism and her death creates a critical need in the family. The Chattanooga Autism Center has committed $6,000 to help Cynthia Joyner's family with expenses. If you wish to make a donation for this need, make checks out to Ricardo Joyner, c/o Chatttanooga Autism Center, 1400 McCallie Ave. Suite 100, Chattanooga, TN 37404.

Funeral Arrangements: Cynthia Joyner's funeral will be at noon on July 26, 2013, at the Greater Sweet Branch Baptist Church in Olar, South Carolina. A memorial service in the Chattanooga area will be set at a later date.

The loss of Cynthia Joyner will be felt deeply by both her family and the Chattanooga Autism Center. Our thoughts and prayers for strength and comfort are extended to Cynthia's family, including her autistic son Matthew. May the example that Cynthia Joyner set in her life as a volunteer inspire others to step up to support autism organizations. The spirit of volunteerism is so critical in helping autism organizations accomplish their work.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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