Staff Report

The Freedom to Walk Foundation was founded four years ago to help improve the lives of children and adults with a walking impairment called Foot Drop, due to Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

To help educate and assist them with the funding for the purchase of WalkAides, the 501(c)(3) non-profit is hosting its Fourth Annual One Step At A Time Gala on Saturday, October 1 at the Centre Club at 123 S. West Shore Blvd. in Tampa from 6-11 p.m. Sponsors to date are Hanger Clinic, American Dream Home Mortgage, The Realty Group, The Miss Buckle-Up Princess Foundation, CMIT Solutions of Brandon, Montefu Consulting Inc., and Delta Credit Restoration Inc.

The community is invited to attend the gala, which will feature fine dining, music, dancing, raffles, and silent auction. Keynote Speakers are Ron Klein, Inventor of the Magnetic Strip on the Credit Card, Developer of Computerized Systems for Real Estate (MLS) Multiple Listing Services; and David Kauffman, Ziglar Legacy Certified Speaker/Trainer/Coach.

Foot Drop is a condition characterized by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot necessary for people to walk. It causes a person to either drag the foot and toes or engage in a high-stepping walk called steppage gait.

The WalkAide, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is an electronic device that when worn on the calf, sends electric impulses to the affected foot, causing the foot and leg to lift and follow through as they would with a natural gait, but most insurance companies will not cover the cost of about $5,000 per unit.

“You can help change the lives of children and adults who will greatly benefit from this much needed device by supporting and participating in the foundation’s Fourth Annual Gala.
Because of the sponsorships, we will be able to provide a WalkAide to two recipients, so we are urging sponsors to support us on different levels,” said Daisy Vega, founder and president of Freedom to Walk Foundation, who has Multiple Sclerosis and has benefitted from the use of the WalkAide which she purchased. Vega is seeking sponsors who have until Friday, September 2 to register. Contact 546-2329 or Daisy.Vega@FreedomToWalk Foundation.com. Visit bit.ly/1VQKci2.