Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation’s STEPtember Campaign Surpasses $1 Million Raised

Fri 22 Sep 2023

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF) kicked off its seventh annual STEPtember campaign on Friday, September 1, and has already exceeded $1 million raised to support cerebral palsy research and assistive technology. People with close connections to cerebral palsy — whether they have it themselves or care for or about someone who does — are taking their future into their own hands and generating impressive fundraising momentum.

Christiane and Nick Fletcher originally set their fundraising goal at $2,000 and they’ve already raised more than $20,000 in less than three weeks. They’re stepping up in honor of their four-year-old son, Cameron — affectionately known as Camo. He was born at just 29 weeks after suffering severe brain bleeds in utero, and he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at around one year old. “CPARF was one of the first organizations we used to educate ourselves when Camo was first diagnosed,” his parents shared.

Camo has spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which means his muscles are tight on one side of his body. Communication-wise, he uses signs, limited vocalizations, and a new augmentative and alternative communication device. He’s a happy kid with a joyful chuckle who “squeals with excitement when he knows it’s time to move his body and use his gait trainer, which he calls GT. He also loves to get in the pool and swim, and everything music-related — especially drumming — is his favorite.”

Given their love of movement and the importance of assistive technology in their lives, it’s no surprise that STEPtember’s taken off with Camo’s Crew. Christiane and Nick shared that they launched their effective personal fundraising campaign by reaching out to everyone they knew via social media. “To be honest,” Christiane said, “people I haven’t spoken with in more than 20 years were donating left and right. And the people closest to us have wanted to help for years but were at a loss as to how they could. This was a tangible way they could support us and they all jumped in wholeheartedly.”

Camo’s Crew is one of more than 2,000 teams supporting CPARF’s mission this month, and each one has their own goals and motivation for participating. The Fletcher family’s highest hope is that “new technologies will increase independence, alleviate chronic pain, and improve quality of life for people living with cerebral palsy.”

Christiane, Nick, and Camo are doing their part to turn their hopes into reality. To join them and do the same, visit www.steptember.us before Saturday, September 30.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization that funds US-based research to change what’s possible for people with cerebral palsy, implements proven science, empowers people through education, and advances technology benefiting all disabled people worldwide. 

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