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.