Our recipient Foundation for 2020
The Make Lemon Aide® Foundation for Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a 501c3 nonprofit foundation that was established in 2013 in an effort to bring awareness to CP and train therapists in the life-changing Symptom Recovery Model Therapy Program advanced by First Step Physical Therapy.
CP is known as the forgotten disability, because few people truly understand what it is and how it affects CP patients, their families, their friends and everyone around them. As part of Make Lemon Aide's efforts, they will continue to support the CP community and tell everyone how special they are and not let them be forgotten.
Meet Lauren. She's a beautiful, selfless, kind-hearted young powerhouse who has been courageous her entire life. She was born weighing just 14oz, and has been fighting for life every single day since. She was diagnosed with CP at the age of one, but has never let that stop her.
Since she was a toddler, Lauren has been an inspiration to all, fighting through every obstacle in her way. As part of living with CP, she has been through more adversity at her age than most people face their entire lives, including:
Relearning learning how to walk 8 times throughout her life
Scrapes and cuts from falling as she struggled for independence from her walker and wheelchair
Bracing and casts on both legs at the same time
Countless hours of traditional therapy
Hundreds of therapeutic Botox injections on her entire legs
Intolerance and cruelty from bullies and others who do not accept Lauren for the inspirational person she is
Fear of how CP will continue to affect her life in the future
When she was 12 years old Lauren attended her first cerebral palsy (CP) awareness meeting only find out that there was no federal funding for CP research. Lauren then decided that she'd be the voice for those who didn't have one. Her goal is to help others who may be struggling with CP, and inspire them through action and she won't stop until she does just that.
Later that same year she began a type of physical therapy known as the Symptom Recovery Model - an aggressive treatment plan for those with CP.
Lauren believes that this therapy is the reason that she is no longer in her wheelchair and walker, and is able to walk so well - and continue to make amazing progress on a daily basis. In fact, she's progressing so well that she has now fulfilled one of her dreams by ballroom dancing!
Her passion to help others inspired the creation of the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy (CP).
Meet Hunter & Braden
You may have heard of Hunter and Braden, as they made local and national news after Hunter made several journeys, the longest being 111 miles, dubbed the "Cerebral Palsy Swagger," carrying his younger brother on his back to raise awareness and funds for CP, trekking from his home to the UofM campus and also to the state capital.
As a Michigan native, Hunter has been making noise and was even awarded the Sports Illustrated High School Athlete of the Year in 2016. He personally has fundraised $19,000 for CP research at the Cerebral Palsy Research Consortium of Michigan, based at the University of Michigan, and just shy of $200,000 for a handicap accessible playground at his brother's elementary school so he would no longer have to sit on the sidelines and worry about his walker getting caught in inaccessible grounds.