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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cody Unser First Step Foundation

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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

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.***

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cody & Shelley Unser of The Cody Unser First Step Foundation spends every waking hour helping others around the world. The Cody Unser First Step Foundation is thinking of creative ideas to help bring life back to disabled veterans and others with disabilities through Operation Deep Down and other projects. She inspires others with disabilities to move beyond their disability and give them the hope and dreams they thought they have lost due to that disability.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What can I say...this organization and these people are fantastic! I've been fortunate to have spent time with the Unser's, their friends the Monsam's, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and many others connected to CUFSF. They are all tireless, dedicated, and have the common goal of giving a hand up, not a handout to their fellow human beings. I'm honored to be part of their mission and look forward to the continuing efforts to bring awareness that anything is possible.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

These folks know the meaning of hard work, tenacity and grassroots! Committed individuals who know what it takes to make things happen for people with disabilities. Highly recommend them for funding.