Read Debbie’s previous entry about how Maddie’s dream shaped an entire movement here.
My quest to help honor Maddie’s dream revealed a critical gap in the realm of CP care and rehabilitation. Due to lack of government funding, precious opportunities remained untapped. Eureka! I had a vision: why not use highly motivating ‘exercise as medicine’? Help CP children engage in a physical activity they would love, while simultaneously achieving therapeutic benefit. The result? A nonprofit, Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement, poised to transform the American CP landscape.
Our nonprofit designed, funded and tested an innovative therapeutic dance protocol, Ability Ballet, with the oversight of UCI, CHOC Orthopaedic Institute and Chapman University. In the end, the dance protocol yielded statistically significant improvements in cognition, physical function and feelings of self-worth in the participating CP children. Building then on our nonprofit’s success, we were compelled to expand our vision by developing much needed Community Programs for CP children and their families living in isolation, often without hope.
With a focus on uniting and providing support to these CP families, our plan and passion is to address their daily needs while improving quality of life and long-term outcomes. Through our efforts, we have thrived in designing meaningful programs, including our First Annual Cerebral Palsy Kids Walk/Run that was held on March 3rd in Mission Viejo; a recent CP Family Forum in collaboration with UCLA Orthopedic Institute; professionally facilitated support groups and educational seminars designed for CP caregivers; academic tutoring to bridge learning gaps for mind-capable fully mainstreamed CP children; Ability Ballet classes; and a host of other social and fun activities for deserving CP children and their families.
I am thankful for the bravery of Maddie and other kids like her. They remind me that by working together, nothing is impossible.
As with anything in life, the fuel for the life change we wish to bring these children is funding to help underwrite these important initiatives. With this being said, we are thrilled to announce an exciting fundraising event thanks to our friends at Tutto Fresco Italian Restaurant in Rancho Santa Margarita, as together we introduce a “Recipe For Caring”.
Join us on Saturday, April 28th from 3-5PM and indulge in a sampling of Tutto Fresco’s exquisite hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and desserts. Take part in a spirited auction, featuring phenomenal items from local businesses, celebrities, and more. Enjoy live music and mingle with Orange County leaders and influencers. Experience first hand the difference you can make in the lives of our community’s medically fragile children.
With your help, we can improve the quality of life for the thousands of children in Orange County living with Cerebral Palsy. Show your support for the families who tackle this disorder head-on, fighting for the futures of the strong, capable kids they are raising to be more than their disabilities. The possibility is within reach!