Our Ambassadors

CPARF’s ambassadors each have their own ambitions, passions, and experiences with CP. Discover more about them.

Marissa Lelogeais

Honorary Friends & Family Ambassador

Marissa Lelogeais isn’t defined by her cerebral palsy. If you ask her, she’ll say her life is music and music is her life.

While people do notice her CP — looking at her weirdly or assuming she has a leg injury, or staring the red-and-white tipped cane she uses due to low vision — she doesn’t let that faze or stop her. She does get frustrated, though, when she’s trying to do something and her brain doesn’t catch up to her body quickly enough.

She’s thrilled to let music speak for her, counting reggae and Broadway shows as her favorite genres. As a musician, she says, “singing onstage and playing music with my friends gives me so much joy that I feel like I could burst. When I’m onstage, I feel empowered. While I may have CP, I can still play music and sing songs I wrote, which I hope will make the people at the show smile — and dance.”

Bill Richards, Jr.

Honorary Friends & Family Ambassador

Bill Richards, Jr., has cerebral palsy. He’s nonverbal and uses a speech program to help him communicate. He gives disability awareness speeches to fourth graders two or three times a month and speaks to future doctors and nurses about disability-related issues to help educate them before they start their careers.

Bill went to a standard high school in the San Francisco Bay area, and to junior college in Sacramento, California. He lives alone in his own home with 24-hour personal care outside Sacramento, California. Bill enjoys swimming, bowling, and visiting with his friends, visiting his family in Tahoe, California, and New York, and everywhere else they live.

He’d be interested in the real-time thought-to-speech system if it ever comes on to the market. Bill’s personality comes through so much better with his computer program than it ever has when he was using only hid word-board, he’s hopeful that with some hard work and training someday, he might be able to use a real-time thought-to-speech system.

Jenny Saunders

CPARF Ambassador

Jenny loves dogs, staying in, and has a great sense of humor. She is also Conner’s mom and Conner has cerebral palsy. She shares some of her experience with us:

Becoming a caretaker has unexpectedly taught me so much more about life and myself than I could have gained from any job. Now, I can tell you that I am resilient, I have learned to fight for things I believe in and advocate on behalf of Conner or myself, openly share our journey when it feels right, make connections with others, educate…the list goes on. While sometimes I find it easiest to stay in my comfort zone, I quickly remind myself of the difficult tasks I have done over the last five years and I see how much I’ve changed. I am capable even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.

Todd Williams

CPARF Ambassador
2019 STEPtember Fitness Ambassador

Todd is a physical therapist — a career path he chose because of his own struggle with movement. He’s passionate about helping others through PT so that they can fully participate in their communities.

Todd loves backpacking, long-distance running, and cooking — especially for other people. He’s currently training for the 2019 New York City Marathon and you can learn more about his work and personal journey at PTwithCP.com. Todd hopes to be the person he wishes he had when he was growing up.

He became a CPARF Ambassador in 2021 and began as a STEPtember Fitness Ambassador in 2019.

Justin Gallegos

2019 STEPtember Ambassador

Justin’s a journalism major at the University of Oregon and he’s made headlines by becoming Nike’s first pro athlete with cerebral palsy and being featured in Runners World.

Running is Justin’s passion. He’s part of his university’s track team and has run a half-marathon, where he bested 60% of the competition while wearing shoes he helped create with the Nike Sports Lab. Justin hopes to motivate others of all abilities to set and achieve ambitious personal goals.