Reaching for the Stars Joining Forces with Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Merger

Reaching for the Stars Joining Forces with Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Merger

Reaching for the Stars (RFTS), one of the largest parent-led global cerebral palsy nonprofits, is joining the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) in a potentially powerhouse merger.

The new entity, which will retain the name Cerebral Palsy Foundation, is anticipated to have a significant impact on the cerebral palsy (CP) community. 

“Bringing Reaching for the Stars into CPF will add enormously to our efforts to be a catalyst for new opportunities for people with CP and related disabilities,” Richard Ellenson, CPF’s CEO, said in a press release. “RFTS’s outreach, remarkable accomplishments advocating for the CP community, and long heritage fit so well within the CPF mission and will greatly enhance our shared goals.”

Cynthia Frisina, RFTS’ executive director and co-founder, will become the foundation’s vice president of partnerships, managing the organization’s national and international activity, in addition to its grants program. The RFTS executive board will join the new Advisory Circle, responsible for growing and advancing CPF efforts.

“Bringing together Reaching for the Stars and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation is an exciting move forward in connecting our shared capabilities and advancing progress for the entire field,” Frisina said. “Our unified vision of transforming lives for people with cerebral palsy through research, innovation and collaboration will create new opportunities and significant near-term impact.”

The 60-year-old CPF focuses on improving the lives of those living with cerebral palsy through research, innovation, and partnerships with medical institutions, businesses, and media companies.

Its top initiatives emphasize increasing early CP diagnoses, expanding patient inclusion in schools, and developing a diverse, resourceful range of patient and caregiver technology platforms. Raising disease awareness and perception will continue to be an important CPF objective. The organization’s  video resources have reportedly logged more than 75 million views.

CPF’s online fact sheet library includes information on topics such as CP types, motor severity, manual ability and communication issues, disease cause and timing, risk factors, signs and symptoms, and adults with cerebral palsy.

Launched in 2005 by parents of children with CPF, RFTS is an international family-focused foundation focused on education, awareness, and scientific research. Its digital offerings, prior to the merger, include Cerebral Palsy Television (CPTV), a video-on-demand resource for teens and adults with CP. 

In addition, the RFTS website includes an infographic about cerebral palsy diagnosis and treatment. Click on this link for a brochure to learn more about the organization’s mission and programs, including its town hall events.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, about 17 million people worldwide have the disorder, which is marked by impaired muscle coordination, muscle tone, or posture.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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