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Stepping Up to Raise Awareness for Cerebral Palsy
BY MING PRINCE, KERRY SOUSSOU, & SARAH BRADLEY
WITH KRYSTAL CHENG
3 MINUTE READ · 4 MINUTE LISTEN
Cerebral Palsy is the most common lifelong physical disability in the world, affecting 18 million people.
It's caused by damage to the developing brain during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. Cerebral Palsy directly affects a person's movement and posture for life.
To raise funds for early intervention for babies, life-changing technology, and groundbreaking research, more than 200 Cisconians connected and challenged themselves to take 10,000 steps each day, their way.
By stepping up, they raised awareness for Cerebral Palsy and fundraised for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF).
“STEPtember” was all about inclusivity, including over 40 different activities that could convert into daily steps.
By the end of the month, STEPtember participants collectively took 18,161,497 steps and raised $12,709.
Kerry Soussou, Partner Account Manager, Australia
The reason why I got involved with STEPtember was because of my 18 year old daughter, Bianca.
Bianca was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (Left Hemiplegia) when she was four months old, and we were told she is unlikely to ever walk or talk. She has the intellectual ability of a two-year-old as an adult.
With thousands of hours of therapies — like hydrotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy — Bianca learned to walk at age four. It was all thanks to the support we received from CPA.
As Bianca finishes school this year, she will participate in their supported day programs, continue therapy, and, most importantly, transition into long-term supported disability accommodations to manage her ongoing high needs.
What I love most about STEPtember is that it can be very competitive, a great way to get moving regardless of your fitness level, and an opportunity to make new friends at work. This inclusive initiative promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion across workplaces.
Sarah Bradley, Marketing Specialist, United States
In my first month at Cisco, I had the pleasure of leading the U.S. STEPtember fundraising team!
On my fourth day, I jumped right in. I had a great experience meeting participants from across the company, planning a virtual event with CPARF, and getting my daily steps in!
This cause is personal to me and my family.
I participated in memory of my Uncle Randy, who lived with Cerebral Palsy in the 1960s and 1970s, before many modern technological advancements were made for it. I’m so excited about the research done by CPARF and the impact it will have on people like Randy.
September has ended, but it’s never too late to step up.
You can raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy by challenging your teammates to continue taking 10,000 steps each day all year long.
Getting out together can be a fun way to show your support for our cause and stay active.
You can also donate to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation on Bright Funds. And if you’re passionate about making the world a more inclusive place for people with disabilities, you can become a Connected Disability Action Network ally.
Together, we can challenge ourselves to get moving, connect, and create a better future for people living with Cerebral Palsy.
It’s never too late to help, and no effort is ever too small.
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