STEPtember Activities to Culminate in Celebrity 10K Fitness Event in Newport Beach, California

Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. Population-based studies from around the world report prevalence estimates range from 1.5 to more than 4 per 1,000 live births. Convaid and R82 products are often prescribed for children living with Cerebral Palsy.

According to Convaid and R82 community partner, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Cerebral Palsy is often apparent at birth, usually diagnosed by a physician at the hospital. Some children are diagnosed later after they fail to meet certain developmental milestones.

To help build awareness around Cerebral Palsy and the symptoms closely associated with Cerebral Palsy, Convaid and R82 have joined with United Cerebral Palsy affiliates throughout North America to participate in STEPtember, a month-long fitness and awareness building campaign.

This year, in conjunction with United Cerebral Palsy National Organization and United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCPOC), Convaid and R82 are participating in a month-long fitness and fundraising campaign whereby all company departments have formed teams whose members are committed to walking 10,000 steps per day – or the equivalent thereof in other physical activities.

UCPOC has served over 4,300 children and families in Orange County living with a wide range of disabilities, helping them achieve their full potential and inclusion into society at all levels.


Convaid & R82 Social Media Coordinator, Sarah Best, pictured with her service dog, Edison, lives with Cerebral Palsy and is a strong advocate of CP awareness.

“UPCOC is very excited to partner with Convaid, R82, Roll With Me and Gabe Cordell on The Big Roll as part of the STEPtember wellness challenge.  With the help of everyone who participates in this challenge we can create a movement that inspires, transforms and directly benefits the lives of people living with disabilities. The need is great with one in six children in our community experiencing a developmental disability or delay. It is because of your support that we are able to provide life-changing services to help entire families enjoy the best quality of life,” said Deborah Levy, President & Chief Executive Officer.

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, month long activities will culminate in a 10K walk-run-roll-ride in Newport Beach, along the bike path on Balboa Peninsula that will be led by Gabe Cordell, star of the feature length documentary, Roll With Me.

The documentary spans the three-month long adventure across 11 states. Gabe rolled his push wheelchair from San Francisco to New York with the sole purpose of empowering others living with disabilities of any kind to strive for their own personal best.  Excerpts of his journey will be aired during the live stream of the event.roll-with-me-pic

Viewers can access the September 24th livestream from the UCP national website and Convaid  Facebook page from 10AM to 12 Noon. It will also be available on demand from the UCP national and affiliate websites and those of Convaid and R82, after the event. Convaid and R82 staff in California and North Carolina plus business development representatives and dealers in 20 sales territories are participating in STEPtember.

Those wishing to participate in person or symbolically are urged to show their support by clicking here to join a team or cheering squad for the event.

donate-nowGabe will be flanked by Convaid and R82 employees, UCPOC supporters, members of the community and one special roller, Sarah Best, Convaid and R82’s Social Media coordinator. Sarah used Convaid products as a child and now supports a community that has been a large part of her life by telling stories from within Convaid and R82 brand fans and their families, caretakers and others.

UCP National Office Vice President of Affiliate Network, Anita Porco, said, CEO said, “We are very appreciative of the efforts to support our affiliates and the individuals and families they serve, and we look forward to working with Convaid and R82 in the future provide to benefit UCP’s affiliate network.”

Convaid and R82 Stepping in Support of Families they Serve


Convaid & R82 ambassador Smiley Miles spreading his infectious smile

Elyse is mom to three young children.  Her son, Convaid Ambassador Miles, has used a Convaid Cruiser since toddlerhood. When he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Elyse took advice from a social worker to heart. “A cerebral palsy diagnosis doesn’t change anything about your child. You’ll get through this. Life might not ever be the same, but in time, you will establish a new normal,” the social worker told her.

“That is exactly what we have done,” says Elyse Cobb.

Elyse’s new normal starts with getting three kids – all under the age of 8 – fed, packed and ready for delivery to school. Miles’ school is the farthest, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco, where the family lives.  Miles’ school offers an intensive communication program that focuses on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC encourages use of a step-by-step button through which Miles’ can share happenings during his school day with the family.

Miles’ school day ends at 12:30PM. Afterwards, he has daily therapy, before the family meets up for dinner and evening family time.  Miles enjoys downtime while his big sister does her homework.

“Somewhere between dinnertime and bedtime, we help Miles put something on his ‘button’ to take back to school the next day and share with his classmates,” Elyse says.

Emmy’s Story


Convaid & R82 ambassador Emmy, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, is pictured in a Convaid Carrot 3 booster seat

Emmy is a kindergartener who uses a Convaid Cruiser and Carrot 3 car seat. Prior to her Convaid Cruiser, Emmy would not tolerate a wheelchair of any kind, according to her mother, Dawn. Emmy lives with dystonic quad Cerebral Palsey and loves swimming, baths, iPad activities, school, friends and swinging her dogs on her swing.

Mom Dawn advises, “Your perspective on the world will change but for the better. Life will be more challenging, but so much more rewarding as well and you will meet some of the greatest people you’ve ever met along the way.”

Dawn shares that early intervention is critical in ensuring better outcomes for children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  With advances in technology and greater understanding of disability, children with disabilities are being identified early in life and are able to get a jump on services.

Why it is Important to Build Cerebral Palsy Awareness

Physical, mental and emotional health are key ingredients to living well.

People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by poorer overall health and increased rates of chronic diseases. Furthermore, they often experience secondary conditions such as pain, fatigue, weakness and depression. Many of these conditions can be prevented or alleviated with lifestyle modifications and preventive care.

Experts agree that the earliest possible intervention will lead to better outcomes for infants and young children living with Cerebral Palsy.  Click here to a read clinical blog by Convaid and R82 resident expert, Missy Ball, MT, PT, ATP, a certified pediatric NDT. She is the former Acting Director of the Physical Therapy Department of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, where she co-directed the hospital’s seating program for 10-years. She has worked with United Cerebral Palsy Center’s Seating Clinic and continues to tour and lecture globally on seating and mobility topics.

Services for Children Living with Disabilities

Access to quality, affordable health care is of highest importance to individuals with disabilities and their families. Navigating the changing health care system can be challenging.

UCP is a voice for individuals with disabilities, their families, and providers in the debate to ensure quality and affordable access to care. UCP will continue to help shape the health policy debate and inform individuals of how to get and stay involved.

Services for children with disabilities are mandated from birth to 21 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires that families be involved with the planning, development and implementation of services throughout a child’s life.

Children with developmental delays or disabilities ages 0-3 are eligible for Early Intervention Services under the IDEA. Intervention is vital during this very early time. Learn more about early intervention and educating kids with disabilities.

Readers are urged to contact their local UCP affiliate for family support information and resources, or reach out directly to United Cerebral Palsy at  800-872-5827 or by email to

“We are committed to bringing best-in-class products and tools to the Cerebral Palsy community and to the expansion of our planned giving programs. We know that early intervention and correct choice of products made big difference in helping families living with Cerebral Palsy remain active, engaged and included,” said Nanneke Dinklo, Director, Marketing.

Convaid and R82 are dedicated to developing products and services for the Cerebral Palsy population in the areas of:

Convaid and R82 are committed to assist in the furtherance of the organization’s clinical care and educational improvements.  An expanded plan of participation in 2017 on a region-by-region basis is in the works with UCP.


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