Hazel Banks is one of many patients who uses the WalkAide to help them. The Freedom to Walk Foundation is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for WalkAides for people in need.

Freedom to Walk Foundation was founded nine years ago to help improve the lives of children and adults with foot drop, caused by upper motor neuron injury such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

The Riverview-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit helps educate, inspire, empower and assist people experiencing foot drop who need funding for the purchase of the WalkAide® System, a functional electrical stimulation device (FES) that helps them to walk.

On Thursday, April 29, American Dream Home Mortgage NMLS#222528 presents Freedom to Walk Foundation Jukebox Bingo at The Venue, located at 11268 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, from 6-9 p.m., promising an evening of fun friends, food, raffles and more.

Jukebox Bingo is a brand-new version of an old favorite—it’s bingo, but where traditional numbers are replaced by popular songs, and you could win $50 gift cards as bingo prizes. Masks are required and temperatures are checked upon entry. There is limited seating and tickets will not be sold at the door.

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. It’s estimated that approximately 75,000 children and adults in Florida will suffer from foot drop and over 1 million in the United States.

At the age of 3, Hazel Banks was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“Hazel’s pregnancy and birth went well, no complications,” said Shayna Rae Banks, Hazel’s mom. “We were told that Hazel had torticollis at two months. As the months went by, it got worse and we started to notice it affected her whole right side. Hazel has come very far in her journey but still struggled staying on her feet. It seems on her bad days she would fall every other step. Even with the diagnosis, Hazel pushed herself to try to keep up with her big brother, Jackson. The WalkAide has made this possible. With the Lord’s help, Hazel will move mountains, but now, because of the WalkAide, life has become easier for our sweet Hazel.”

Organizer Daisy Vega is seeking sponsors, raffle prizes and bingo players to be part of making this a successful FUNdraiser. For more information, contact her at 546-2329 or Daisy.Vega@FreedomToWalkFoundation.com. For $20 tickets and more, go to Eventbrite at bit.ly/jukebox-bingo. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.FreedomToWalkFoundation.org.

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