CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Support and love rule in the Mines household in Chesterfield County.
Pam and her husband Perry say they make a great team with their two daughters, and son JP who has Autism.
The crew doesn’t hold back when it comes to jumping into a fierce video game competition. You can often find them trying to figure out how to keep up with JP on the video controls.
Mom says JP is a competitor and loves trying for the gold medals every time he participates in the Special Olympics. He showed us his hardware displayed proudly in his room.
“I have 8 metals,” JP exclaimed. A proud accomplishment, but mom knows JP has had an even bigger impact in the lives of many in the special needs community.
The whole family has been on a mission to raise awareness about Autism. It grew out of their desire to make sure JP never felt alone in his walk with Autism. That’s how Mines’ organization JP Jumpers Foundation was born.
“The team is not just here in our house, but the team is our community,” Pam Mines said.
That’s what motivated Mines to press Virginia lawmakers to consider passing a law which allows a specific code on a state identification card or drivers license.
That code alerts police officers that the cardholder has Autism or an intellectual disability. In 2014, JP’s Law became a reality in Virginia.
“I do this for my son and the special needs community. I do this because I don`t want tragedy to happen when it was such a simple fix,” Mines said.
Though thankful, Mines wasn’t satisfied to end there. Her push to get the law adopted across the United States recently got another boost.
This, just seven months after she, D.C. DMV officials and law enforcement teamed up.
“I received an email that JP`s Law will be adopted and launching by the end of March,” an elated Mines said.
It’s another huge prayer answered and she’s grateful.
Scrolling through pictures and videos that she saved, which chronicle her family’s journey, Mines tears up. Listening to a song written just for her, the lyrics, “God chose me,” fuels her passion to do more.
“You don`t do it for fame. The song makes me emotional because I do know that God Chose me. I know I was chosen to be a voice, not the voice for the special needs community. I can`t stop until I reach my goal of making this law national,” Mines said, wiping her tears away.
Since JP’s Law was enacted, Mines says here in Virginia more than 1,400 people have applied for the special designation on their state ID or license.
This week, Mines will head to Washington, D.C. for the official launch of JP’s Law there.