Kalispell man copes with autism and loss with comic books - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Kalispell man copes with autism and loss with comic books

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KALISPELL - Glenn Ackom grew up in a rough neighborhood in Southern California where he lived with his mother, father and three other siblings who were all on the autism spectrum -- including Glenn himself.

When Glenn was just 22 years old his father passed away and his mother moved the family to Polson. Glenn spent many years there before meeting Karen. They spent less than a year together before getting married in September of 2004.

“She told me all the history of her medical stuff and she’s like are you sure you want to? And I was like, 'yeah, I’m sure',” Glenn said. 

Glenn and Karen aided each other through daily life as they both had their own disabilities. However, in the summer of 2016 Karen’s health took a major turn for the worst.

“I got the phone call saying, 'Glenn, you need to get up here.' And I said 'why?' 'Well, your wife is going to pass.' I’m like 'what?' And I lost it here. I screamed, I shouted, I called someone from my church at two o’clock in the morning,” Glenn recalled. 

Glenn says in the following months he felt lost and empty but knew he had to do something to turn his life around. So he decided to fulfill one of their lifelong dreams -- but this time without his wife. 

“Me and Karen always wanted to dream to go back to California and for me to go to Comic-Con and I was over the world to go to my first Comic-Con,” Glenn said. 

Glenn met and talked with many of his favorite comic book writers at the event and they inspired him and listened to his story of heartbreak.

After speaking with the authors and even getting a letter from one of his idols, Billy Tucci, Glenn knew what he wanted to do, "he quoted and said 'you should do this to make your wife proud of you'."

Glenn decided to write his own comic book with heroes modeled off of himself and his late wife as the leading characters, hoping to show that people can deal with the daily struggles of autism or other disabilities.

Glenn says the writing has helped him forget a lot of his hurtful past. 

“Don’t be afraid of people saying you can’t. There’s no can’t. There’s a will and there’s a way. You can achieve anything in life by reaching for what you want to reach for and that should never stop you, it should never stop you,” Glenn told MTN News.

Glenn continues to work hard and is currently trying to find an editor for his book so he can send it to publishers in hopes of reaching others struggling with disabilities.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping with his goal, send an email to jginsburg@kpax.com 

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