Cody Unser First Step Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   16 reviews

Issues: Health

Location: PO Box 56696 Albuquerque NM 87187 USA

Mission: The Cody Unser First Step Foundation is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising research funds, public awareness and quality of life for those afflicted with all forms of spinal cord-related paralysis. The Foundation will also address the cause, rehabilitation, prevention and cure for Transverse Myelitis, and freely affiliate with other medical, charitable and corporate entities to achieve these goals.
Target demographics: CUFSF’s main focus is to raise awareness for TM and paralysis, to establish Quality of Life programs through scuba diving, and to push scientific research.  With the number of people affected by TM and paralysis rising, the demand for the programs and initiatives set in motion by CUFSF, and the benefits of our future plans for the foundation, will be reaching levels that we would have never imagined.
Geographic areas served: Global
Programs:

***Quality of Life: "Cody's Great Scuba Adventures" and "Operation Deep Down" these programs are designed to use Scuba Diving as a tool for therapeutic and psychological value to promote healing.***

***Awareness initiatives: Awareness is an important priority due to the sense of urgency when faced with an auto-immune disorder. This includes first responder support for auto-immune disorder patients looking for resources and help. As part of this initiative, CUFSF plans to continue developing and maintaining a concrete and user friendly manual and WEB Portal that provides access to disability information. (Visit www.cufsf.org, CUFSF’s Facebook and Twitter). We also use more traditional forms of creating awareness such as hosting and supporting industry related symposiums and conferences.***

***Advocacy initiatives: Advocacy influences the outcomes of public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Our goal is to ensure that decisions made by federal and state governments are aligned with the needs of the general public, especially those with spinal cord-related injuries advocacy is imperative.***

***Medical research initiatives: CUFSF intends to maintain existing partnerships within the medical field as well as encourage collaboration with new hospitals and biotech organizations to bring technology and research programs to the forefront. This initiative will develop opportunities for the disabled community to participate in clinical trials, new treatments/remedies, medicinal therapies and activity-based therapies. More importantly, to prevent secondary conditions, we must be a voice promoting proper health and wellness for overall preventative care.***

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I met Cody in high school and still to this day look up to her as a role model. She is goal oriented and truly cares about helping others that are paralyzed and affected with TM. I went with her on a couple of trips around the country a few years ago where she spoke to, quite intimidating audiences I must say, about the importance of her organization in giving people with paralysis a chance to grow and learn. She is very well known in the State of New Mexico having spoken to the Governor about her wishes for the Foundation. She has also talked with President Bush as an advocate and a voice for disabled individuals. Wow! Everyone she has spoken to was touched by her story and wanted to help in any way possible. Amazing! She is a truly inspirational woman and has a passion to provide everyone with the opportunities they may be without if it wasn't for her Foundation such as scuba diving!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that Cody has taught me how to become a better person and realize that people can do anything that they set their minds to. I am studying to become a Social Worker and this has been a valuable lesson that I will take with me into my future practice.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide the organization more resources in order to reach out to as many people as possible and provide them with more opportunities. Her scuba trips are popular and that is just the beginning of what her foundation can do.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting and getting to know Cody. She became one of my best friends and helped me to see people in a different way - rather than looking at the wheelchair, to look at the individual.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AMAZING! They could not have been more nice. They were open to new ideas and help from multiple individuals - truly team players and goal oriented.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide more amazing opportunities for those that are disabled such as more amazing trips! Also, providing the individuals with scholarships would help more people be able to go that would not be able to afford it regularly.

Ways to make it better...

there were more resources to provide more staff and volunteers to help Cody and her family with the Foundation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

not having enough resources.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Go Cody! Keep up the amazing work!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

After seeing the documentary on Cody (CODY: The First Step) I knew I wanted to help this organization flourish! Once you begin volunteering with the Cody Unser First Step Foundation you can't stop! This a wonderful organization to be a part of. The first time I had the pleasure of working with them was during one of their 'Discover Scuba' events. To see the smiles and sense of self each participant was getting back, regardless of their disability, is a feeling that will stay with me forever. This organization, the people involved and the people it serves are simply amazing!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Cody Unser First Step Foundation brings a light of hope to people who suffer from any type of diablity. It is amazing to see children and adults alike discovering that they can not only scuba dive...but that they can accomplish anything!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase their fundraising efforts so that they would be able to accomplish their short term goal of sending participants on another Scuba Trip and their long term goal of being (1) a leading voice for TM and (2) Scuba as a Quality of Life Program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the faces of the people light up when they discover that they can Scuba Dive and in turn accomplish anything.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AWESOME!! I cannot say enough about their passion and drive to make CUFSF better with each day. They all just have an endless amount of energy.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the Quality of Life Programs (Discover Scube, Cody's Great Scuba Adventure, and Operation Deep Down), bring a stronger voice to TM, help in funding research for spinal cord disorders/injuries and in general reach and support a larger audience!!

Ways to make it better...

the organization had more funding for the programs as a whole.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

limited amount of resources.

One thing I'd also say is that...

CUFSF needs people to help spread the word and as Cody would say to, "Just Get Down There!"

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Been there from the beginning and this Foundation is driven by passion, pure love and honor from it's own goal to walk again and all those who share the same life hurdles. They race to win, not to come in second but to win. And winning is finding a cure , a way to be back on there feet again .

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The years i have watched the hard work and dedication of it's founders,seen the acquirement,the films,the awards and the unbelievable number of bodies put in the water with very little money just to rise awareness's on spinal cord injuries say it all.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

This is a remarkable charity whose work touches so many lives in so many ways. Transverse Myelitis is such a mysteriously devastating disease and the Cody Unser First Step Foundation gives hope to people stricken with TM or suffering from any spinal cord injury that there will be a brighter tomorrow.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the hope that it provides for people of all ages, from all over the world and many different circumstances.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

The Cody Unser First Step Foundation is a role model for other charities when it comes to facilitating quality of life program - Adaptive Scuba Diving for the disabled. They created a dive team, trained two course directors, their programs are for the disabled person and a dive buddy of choice (family member, friend, caregiver), and they provide dive trips. Other adaptive programs focus just on the disabled person and once they're trained they don't have the support system to continue scuba diving. I volunteer weekly for CUFSF and I love the people I work with - they are truly heros for communities they help nationwide!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the accolades that I receive every time I am involved in any of CUFSF events. From the people who participate in our adaptive scuba program, or those who have watched CODY: The First Step Documentary Film - it is consistent praise for the work we do!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

 
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