The Freedom to Walk Foundation held its first fundraiser May 18, a Zumbathon.
Men and women flocked to the Riverview Civic Center to help with the cause, and raised more than $1,500, surpassing the goal of $1,000.
The foundation, founded by Riverview resident Daisy Vega, seeks to raise money for patients in need of a WalkAide. The device, which can cost as much as $5,000, helps those who suffer from foot drop, which causes the front of the foot to drag along the ground when there is weakness or paralysis of the lower leg and foot muscles.
It's estimated that 75,000 adults and children in Florida suffer from foot drop, including those with MS, cerebral palsy and patients recovering from stroke or brain injuries.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved WalkAide, but Vega paid out of pocket because her insurance company, a private insurer, doesn't cover it. She doesn't want those who can't afford the device to go without it.
On Oct. 5, the foundation is planning a formal Black Tie "Coming Out" Gala and Fundraiser at the Centre Club in Tampa. Tickets are $85 per person, $150 per couple. Music will be provided by the New Directions Orchestra of Brandon along with a solo opera and saxophone performance. The foundation is accepting items for raffles and a silent auction.
For information about the Freedom To Walk Foundation, visit freedomtowalkfoundation.com or e-mail daisy.vega@freedomtowalk foundation.com.