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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


***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


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cody Unser is one of the most caring and brave women I have been blessed to know. I spent 4 years of college with Cody and I consider her one of my closest friends. Cody does not only impact the lives of other paralyzed individuals, but inspires and enlightens all those who meet her. Her charismatic personality allows her story to be not just heard, but understood by all who listen. Her story does not focus on what has happened to her, but what great things she has been able to do in spite of it. Paralysis is a difficult transition that most of the pubic have never taken a moment to try to understand. The Cody Unser First Step Foundation helps inform the pubic of their neighbors in chairs and helps those who are paralyzed find a new world behind their chair.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cody Unser's First Step Foundation is inspirational. Cody is a brave young woman who shares her story and inspires others to understand and move beyond their disabilities to achieve a better quality of life!

Comments ( 1 )


maryl 06/08/2010

Continue doing great work, Cody!