Freedom to Walk Foundation to buy WalkAide for 12-year-old

Daisy Vega, left, founder of the Freedom to Walk Foundation, stands with Daniel Rios, 12, and Daniel’s mother, Nancy Santiago.

Courtesy of Kathryn Moschella

Daisy Vega, left, founder of the Freedom to Walk Foundation, stands with Daniel Rios, 12, and Daniel’s mother, Nancy Santiago.

Tears flowed Saturday as Freedom to Walk Foundation founder Daisy Vega announced that 12-year-old Daniel Rios would be the foundation's first benefactor.

Vega, who lives in Riverview, delivered the news during the foundation's inaugural "One Step At a Time" gala at Tampa's Centre Club. Rios explained to the audience that he suffers from foot drop because of a stroke he suffered after having open-heart surgery as a toddler.

After his remarks, Vega said the foundation would purchase a WalkAide for Rios. The WalkAide stimulates nerves in the upper leg to help combat foot drop. Daniel already had gone through a trial period using the device.

Vega, who has multiple sclerosis, knows all about foot drop. She dealt with it until purchasing the WalkAide. But because the device costs $5,000 and isn't covered by most insurance companies, Vega started her foundation to help cover the expense for other patients.

She noted the gala was a success and she's looking forward to other events to further her mission.

Times staff

Freedom to Walk Foundation to buy WalkAide for 12-year-old 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 3:19pm]

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