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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

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


***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.***

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

One year ago, CUFSF opened my eyes to many rewarding lessons. First, they introduced me to an exciting sport that does not see limitations. Cody inspired me to push myself beyond my own expectations, by scuba diving. The feelings of being "free" from the wheelchair were incredible. Now I take this experience of overcoming obstacles into my classroom in hopes that my message will inspire my students to push beyond their limitations. The results from this experience have touched more lives that just me, the scuba diver. It is a service that touches lives and spreads the message of hope and overcoming injuries, TOGETHER, one dive at a time. We're behind you Cody Unser!


Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to thank the Cody Unser Foundation for supporting our Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans here at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center with PADI and HSA Scuba Certification. Volunteer Bill Monsam drove me more than 5 hours to Balmoreah State Park for my open water scuba certification. I have seen first-hand how scuba diving opens up a whole new world for our disabled veterans. I am both a disabled veteran and a recreation therapist and I will be forever grateful to this organization for open up the underwater sea life to me. It has provided me with many hours of sheer joy. Thank you for your genrosity and for remembering our Veterans who served and continue to serve our country.