one-of-a kind services for one-of-a kind people

A message from Aspire President Thomas Sy

Phone: (716) 324-2744

18 Year Old With CP Fighting for Federal Funding | Featured on WIVB

“I learned there was no federal funding for cerebral palsy research. Which is insane. On top of that it affects 17 million people worldwide. It’s called the forgotten disability. None of those things add up and that killed me,”

These are the words from 18 year old Lauren Walier, a Georgia woman with ties to Western New York. Lauren recently
attended a Cerebral Palsy conference at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta. What you might not expect, in
addition to the fact that she is only 18, is that she herself was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as a baby.

A true leader, Lauren has also created her own foundation, the Make Lemonade Foundation, who has paired with some big
names like the Buffalo Sabres to help spread awareness about CP. The motto of the organization, echoes her mantra…

“Be Courageous – in everything we do and we won’t stop until we accomplish all of our goals.

Lauren and her therapist at the Toga Trot

In her story with WIVB, she talked about how she has overcome a childhood stuck in a wheelchair. She began an advanced therapy program 6 years ago, when she was 12, that began to turn her life around. The therapy is known as “The Symptom Recovery Model.” She and her therapist are currently training a therapist in Buffalo to help Cerebral Palsy patients to also reverse their symptoms.


“I had energy back. I could start participating fully in school again and became my old self. And then I went from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a crutch, to a cane, and that will be going away very soon.”

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, there is more. The Make Lemon Aide Foundation also holds the 4th Annual Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes on Sunday June 11, 2017. Anyone is welcome, of all abilities. Anyone with a walker, stroller, wheelchair, cane is welcome to participate. “In Lauren’s Shoes” represents the twist where people can choose to represent what it’s like living with Cerebral Palsy by wearing ankle weights. Here is the information about the event.

Event details:

  • Online registration available
  • Packet pick up @ 8:30 a.m.
  • Race-day registration @ 8:30 a.m.
  • Race start @ 10:30 a.m.
  • Location: Wilkeson Point at the Buffalo Outer Harbor
  • 225 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Plenty of free parking
  • Rain or shine
  • 5K course will be certified by USA Track & Field
  • Race management and results by ITSYourRace.com

Race registration includes:

  • Technical T-shirt for the first 300 participants
  • Race goodie bag
  • Post-race water, lemonade, and beer (must be 21 years or older)
  • Bagels, fruit, and snacks at finish line
  • Ankle weights are optional and available on a first-come, first-served basis
  • 5K race medals given to the top 3 women and men in each age category:
  • 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+

Lauren is a true inspiration to everyone in our community. As you know, Aspire of WNY works everyday across the Greater Buffalo region to help individuals with developmental disabilities improve their lives. For more information on Lauren, her story, or her foundation, just head over to her website!

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