Make Lemon Aide Foundation’s annual walk event held at Buffalo Outer Harbor promotes inclusion, aims to bring cutting-edge cerebral palsy therapy to Western New York
On Sunday, June 9, the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for Cerebral Palsy is hosting the sixth annual Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes 5K and 1 Mile Honorary CP Walk, presented by GEICO and This Promo Works. The event will be held at Wilkeson Pointe at the Buffalo Outer Harbor.
The event is uniquely designed to be a fun, family activity for all abilities. The 5K race features chip timing and a scenic course certified by the U.S. Track & Field Association. Utilizing the paved bike path of the Buffalo Outer Harbor, the event is accessible for individuals using wheelchairs, walkers and strollers. Participants can choose to wear ankle weights to simulate the physical challenges for someone living with CP. Prior to the race, the 1 Mile Honorary CP Walk is a rare opportunity for individuals with CP and other disabilities to be cheered on and celebrated.
Proceeds from the walk will support the Make Lemon Aide Foundation’s efforts to bring the Symptom Recovery Method (SRM) to Western New York. This innovative, successful physical therapy protocol was created by First Step Physical Therapy in Fayetteville, Georgia. The foundation awards grants for local individuals diagnosed with CP to travel and receive SRM therapy at First Step.
Additionally, the foundation provides funding for Buffalo-area physical therapists to be trained in SRM – with the goal of providing the therapy to patients in Western New York.
Elizabeth Bailey-Sands Clay, PT, who received a two-year training grant from the foundation in 2017, has experienced significant results since implemented SRM in her practice.
“This holistic approach to improving functional outcomes has completely revolutionized my treatment strategies,” Bailey-Sands said. “I cannot wait to share it with other therapists treating people with cerebral palsy in Western New York. I believe it is life-changing!”
In tandem with the Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes event, the foundation also encourages supporters to join the Zest for Life fundraising campaign. Using an online platform, participants can create a team and raise funds. Participation in the 5K run or 1-mile walk is not required to join the Zest for Life fundraising campaign, allowing individuals from across the country to make a difference in the lives of those affected by CP.
Pre- and post-race activities will include: live music with Chris Hendricks, “Dress like a CP Warrior,” face-painting, a bounce house, vendors, appearances by Sabretooth, GEICO’s Gecko, WNY Superhero Alliance, SPCA PAWS for Love, Wonderland characters, a magician, a lemonade stand, a cupcake stand, and House of Munch, Cheesy Chick, and The Blend food trucks.
Registration for the event can be found at www.makelemonaide.org/walk-run-roll-in-laurens-shoes. Cost for adults is $30 online until June 6 or $35 on race day; youth cost is $15 online until June 6 and $20 on race day. Race day registration and packet pickup begins at 8:30 a.m. The CP pinning ceremony is at 9:45 a.m., with the 1 Mile Honorary CP Walk at 10 a.m., and the 5K at 11 a.m.
In the U.S., 10,000 babies are born each year with cerebral palsy, making it the most common motor disability for children. Despite its prevalence, there is currently no federal funding for CP research. The Make Lemon Aide Foundation for CP was established in 2013 by Lauren Walier, a young woman who refuses to let CP stop her from achieving her goals. The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, advance treatments, and empower the CP community with a message of inclusion and hope. For more information, visit www.makelemonaide.org.