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Tattooing to benefit autism awareness

Amarillo, Texas - Autism now affects one in every 50 people.

Tyler Townes will be holding a marathon next week to benefit autism awareness and research. But his marathon doesn't involve walking or running, he will be tattooing.

"I mean the parents of these kids do it every day, so I can do it for 24 to 36 hours. I mean sometimes you've got to, you know you have to sacrifice things. And so, I'm willing to make that sacrifice. I'm willing to spend that money to make the money back for them," Townes says.

Townes will be inking for up to 36 hours straight next week, all to benefit autism.

Silas is the 5 year-old son of one of Townes friends who was diagnosed with severe autism several years ago. All proceeds from the tattoo marathon will be donated to the Speak for Silas fund and the Autism Speaks organization.

"I live and breath autism now. Silas is a 24 hour job even when he's sleeping. I still have to prepare for his routines and speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, and IET meetings. My life revolves around autism now," Megan Stinnett, Silas's mother says.

Townes says because of that he can give every piece of himself for 36 hours.

"...which is nothing compared to what the family with autism in it has to deal with. It's way more of a job than tattooing for a few hours you know," Townes says.

Taren Lee who's brother is autistic, got an autism tattoo today. She says she hopes through her tattoo and others done, it will further educate others of this condition.

"What is that symbol, what does that mean to you... you can be like well my brother has autism. It's just another way of people asking you about it and you saying this is what is going on in my life and this is why I got it," Lee says.

The marathon will begin at 9 o'clock Monday morning at Lucky 13 Tattoos. If you can't make it out, you can still donate all month long.

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