By Jarred Meeks
The Indiana Spina Bifida Association of Indiana will conduct its annual Indiana Walk-N-Roll Sept. 21 at Lions Park in Zionsville. The fundraiser, the nonprofit’s largest of the year, is a 1-mile-long, wheelchair-accessible family friendly walk dedicated to raising funds for programs and services that benefit those living with spina bifida.
Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, according to the Spina Bifida Association, of which the Indiana Spina Bifida Association is a branch of.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs when a baby’s neural tube fails to develop or close properly, typically occurring within the first trimester of pregnancy while the neural tube is forming. Consequently, spina bifida often occurs before a woman knows she is pregnant.
The nonprofit Indiana Spina Bifida Association stresses the importance of prenatal vitamins for expectant mothers and also provides families with access to studies and other sources of information regarding spina bifida, even though the exact cause of the defect is still unknown, said Angie Eugenio, board of directors chair of the Indiana Spina Bifida Association of Indiana.
In addition to Indiana residents, the association also serves people in areas of Chicago, Ohio and Kentucky.
“(Spina bifida patients) see their wheelchairs as empowerment, not an obstacle,” Eugenio said. “They take all of life’s challenges, and they don’t let them stop them.”
September’s fundraiser, in addition to the walk, will feature face-paintings, treats, Corvette rides provided by Corvette Indy Club and an emphasis on physical activity. Participants will be treated to wheelchair tennis demonstrations along with a fitness class for wheelchair users.
The fundraiser is open to the public, but attendees must register ahead at sbain.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=519. Anyone can form a team for the event. Donations can be made at the website.