Lauren Walier is a person who has pushed through every obstacle and challenge that cerebral palsy has thrown her way. She has learned how to walk without assistance, ballroom dance and even started her own nonprofit. Last weekend, the 20-year-old fought through another struggle to participate in the fifth annual Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes event.
When she was younger, Lauren went through an intense form of physical therapy to simply go from a wheelchair to a walker. Her incredible dedication led her to working all the way up and eventually being able to walk. Lauren refused to stop there with her progress and few years ago she started performing on the international ballroom dance circuit.
Because of those accomplishments Lauren managed to inspire a nonprofit from her story. It is the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for CP, and has been huge in Buffalo, New York. It does an excellent job of raising money to train physical therapists in the Symptom Recovery Model. This is important for Lauren because it is the same method which has helped her progress with CP.
Before the event, Lauren had to go to specialists at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to widen her airway. The goal was to increase her ability to speak by protecting her vocal cords. The next goal this summer for the doctors is to try to widen her airway by performing a surgery that could take eight hours. But the prior procedure was enough for Lauren to participate in the walk.
Sunday the 5k and 1 mile walk was an incredible success. The goal was to raise $30,000 and they ended up receiving $32,017, which is incredible. That is something that Lauren was hoping for before the race and they ended up doing exactly what she wanted by including everyone in the activities.
“Inclusion is important,” Lauren told Gusto, “I think it’s a keystone to happiness and love. You want to be included in everyday activities and in your everyday environment. I really harnessed into that and hope we can bring it into the race this year more than ever.”
Everyone felt love in the air when the event successfully took place last Sunday. People have to be proud of what this young woman has been able to accomplish in her time by helping so many people.