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This young woman with Autism is inviting everyone to her Portland birthday party

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Josie Eugenie, a 23-year-old with Autism and a connective tissue disorder, has never had the traditional birthday party many may take for granted. Each year, hosting only a handful of family members and some friends of her mother left a void she longs to fill.

Growing up on the Autism spectrum, Josie said, took a toll on her social life.

“Being Autistic I’ve always had difficulty making and keeping friends. I can’t help but feel disappointed when everybody my age goes out with friends or has a big party. It makes me feel like I'm not worth getting to know," she said, quoted online.

The quote comes from a website with a unique – and, to Josie, wonderful – cause. The website “crowdFunnit” helps organize birthday parties for people who might otherwise feel alienated or excluded from their social environment.

Saturday, October 1, Josie’s birthday party will be an open-invitation event at Oaks Amusement Park, and anyone is welcome to show their support for Josie. The party itself is free, and details on discounted tickets for rides at the park can be found here.

"To me,” she said, “birthdays should always be a big deal, no matter if you're one or eight or 15 or 37, 62 or 103! Birthdays are a marker of your life; you've made it another year, a little older, a little wiser."

If you're looking to RSVP, that information can be found here, and (of course) she has a running gift list on Amazon available here. For those who can’t make it but still want to show their support, you can send Josie a birthday card or letter through Clackamas County Developmental Disability service coordinator Candice Gage at the address below.

County DD

Josie’s Birthday C/O Candice Gage

2051 Kaen Rd.

Oregon City, OR 97045

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H/t Willamette Week. Read more here.

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