Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! Of the Month – Lauren Walier – April 2015

Lauren Walier, Amazing CP Warrior
Written by Haofei Lui

 

Quote of the Month

“I have a dream to change Cerebral Palsy (CP) as the world knows it today. I want to make a difference for the 17 million people in the world with this condition and be the voice for those with CP who can’t use their own!”
– Lauren Walier, 17-year-old amazing CP warrior

April Amazing Kid! of the Month

The month of April is often associated with nature and the earth. Indeed, it is a time when mother nature grows out beautiful flowers and sprouts up lovely trees. The coming of spring is a prime time for starting afresh and chasing a dream that you’ve always wanted to pursue but just have never gotten around to.

To give you a little inspiration, we here at Amazing Kids! would like to introduce you to an incredible young lady, Lauren Walier. Lauren is a teenager with cerebral palsy who dreams of raising awareness of the disease and raising funding to find a cure. She has already raised $7,000 for cerebral palsy research, an incredible feat for such a young age. Read on to discover what an amazing difference she’s made and how you can get involved to help with the cause!

Meet Lauren Walier, 17-year-old amazing CP warrior. Nothing can stop this incredible teen!

Meet Lauren Walier, 17-year-old amazing CP warrior. Nothing can stop this incredible teen!

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is usually caused by damage to the brain before or at birth. Because of this, cerebral palsy patients oftentimes suffer from impaired muscle coordination and/or other disabilities. People with cerebral palsy face daily struggles: Some people with CP may never walk, talk, dress, or feed themselves. Lauren told us that, “the most heartbreaking [thing] is some children may not reach adulthood.” CP has the highest occurrences out of all the motor disabilities, yet it has the least amount of funding.

Lauren was devastated to learn just how little funding CP has. There is no federal funding for CP research, no successful treatments, and no cure for the disease. Lauren knew that the disease doesn’t just affect her; in fact, it affects millions of other people. She decided right then that she “wanted to make a difference for the 17 million people in the world with this condition and be the voice for those with CP who can’t use their own!”

The Lemon Aide Foundation

Lauren started the Make Lemon Aide for Cerebral Palsy Foundation in 2013 to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy and fund advanced treatment and research. “I want to be the powerhouse of funding for the CP community since there is currently a lack of it,” Lauren told AK! With the money raised, she hopes to give children with CP a better quality of life.

And what better way to do that than by setting up lemonade stands! Lauren started her foundation by selling lemonade for donations. She even was able to set up stands outside of restaurants, with the restaurants putting information about her cause inside their menus. By starting out simple, Lauren quickly gained interest and money for CP research and awareness. The best part? Anyone can run a lemonade stand to raise money for CP. Even you! “It’s simple, easy, and fun,” Lauren said.

Since the early days of her lemonade stands, Lauren has now added many incredible events and appearances to what the Lemon Aide Foundation has achieved. Some of these memorable events include holding a “Walk/Run in Lauren’s Shoes” and appearing on various TV shows to promote CP awareness.

Since the early days of her lemonade stands, Lauren has now added many incredible events and appearances to what the Lemon Aide Foundation has achieved. Some of these memorable events include holding a “Walk/Run in Lauren’s Shoes” and appearing on various TV shows to promote CP awareness.

She was even invited to speak at the American Academy of CP and Developmental Medicine, where she could see her words touching others. Even Lauren’s dad said that he a hard time watching the audience because everyone was so emotionally invested. Way to go Lauren!

The success hasn’t stopped there. Other companies have reached out to support Lauren’s cause! “Shermco Industries” and “Alex and Ani” are aiding Lauren in her efforts, donating large amounts of money to her cause. “Anthony Harrington Designs & Decals” is currently partnering with Lauren by donating proceeds from car decals and coffee mugs that say, “I Love Someone with Cerebral Palsy.” If you would like to help their efforts, you can purchase these awesome items directly from www.anthonyharringtondecals.com!

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

With the money raised by the Make Lemon Aide for Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Lauren hopes to provide grants for patients to receive an advanced therapy program called the Symptom Recovery Model. Lauren is currently on the program and says that it’s done wonders for her! Her body functions, breathing, energy, posture, and muscle tone are all improving. Lauren’s incontinence is gone and she’s even forming a new gait pattern, thanks to the advanced therapy. “The improvements are so great that every state and city in the country should have this type of therapy to offer to people with CP,” Lauren tells us, “My foundation wants to help make this happen.”

In addition to providing grants, another goal of the Lemon Aide Foundation is to increase funding for cerebral palsy research. Lauren believes that by increasing CP research, there will still be other ways to help patients even if they do not wish to participate in the Symptom Recovery Model. “One of my personal goals within my foundation is to make kids with CP feel comfortable and confident with who they are within,” Lauren said. She also wants to extend her efforts to kids with all disabilities and even the typical child because, “every person deep down has challenges and struggles, some you may see and some you may not.”

Spreading the lemonade: Be courageous

Lauren Walier is a truly incredible girl who isn’t afraid to pursue her dream. She’s inspired all of us at Amazing Kids! and we hope she’s inspired you too! Start a Make Lemon Aide Club at school, host fundraiser events, and set up stands where there are many people. The money you raise could change a life!

And remember, never give up on your dreams. Take Lauren’s last pep talk (below) as our April gift to you!

“Always believe in yourself and never let someone tell you can’t do something because what I’ve learned from experience is that you can do anything you set your mind to! Be Courageous! Don’t let fear stand in your way! Take it right out of the equation! Facing challenges in your life makes you stronger without you even knowing it. People with challenges are courageous and typically are not even aware it. Embrace yourself and the gifts God has given you. Try to be positive! I look at all my challenges as my war stories. My mom has always said to me if you don’t have war stories then you don’t have depth, character and compassion for others. It’s the best recipe for a courageous person!”

If you’d like to learn more and help Amazing Lauren and her amazing cause, and make your own “lemon aide” for cerebral palsy research, visit her foundation’s website at: http://www.makelemonaide.org

One comment

  1. John Krans /

    Thank you Haofei Lui for the wonderful article you wrote about my granddaughter Lauren Walier. Lauren is a very special and dynamic young lady. I have watched her take on all her challenges and conquer them. She is truly dedicated to helping others with her disability. She is my HERO!