Disabled, supporters raise funds for Easter Seals

first_imgLA MIRADA – Being the leader of anything was something Mary Moorman never thought she would experience. But Saturday, Moorman was at the head of a crowd of hundreds of people taking part in Easter Seals’ 3-K “Walk With Me” fund-raising walk through Knott’s Berry Farm. The event raised about $60,000 for Easter Seals’ disabilities services, organizers said. Moorman, 42, has suffered for years with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and some physical problems that have impeded her ability to hold a job. “It’s a very big honor,” the La Mirada resident said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m overweight, but I can handle it.” Moorman said she held a job at one point, but problems with her back forced her to quit. Now she is working on her General Education Diploma for high school and hopes to have a job by the end of the summer. “As long as my back doesn’t hold me back,” she added. Her long-term goal is to work with people who have developmental disabilities. “I’d like to be working with them closely, helping them with their behavior modification and helping them achieve their goals,” Moorman said. “It’s a challenge. But I’ve taken on a lot of challenges and succeeded.” Moorman was one of the 10 “honorary ambassadors” chosen to lead Saturday’s walk. All of the ambassadors are Easter Seals clients who have managed to increase their independence in the past year through hard work, said Marianne Tomich, spokeswoman for Easter Seals. “\ is leading the walkers, since part of her recovery is physical,” Tomich said. “She wasn’t in good physical shape when she came to us. She had some heart and weight problems. So it’s a big achievement for her to be leading a … walk.” Last year, more than 600 people participated in the Easter Seals walk, she said. The 85-year-old nonprofit organization employs 13,000 staff members and thousands of volunteers, who provide disability services through 550 centers nationwide, as well as advocating for legislation protecting the disabled. According to the group’s Web site, one in every 5 Americans is affected by a disability. Fifty-four million Americans are considered disabled, with almost 6 million of them being children. Of the nation’s nearly 47 million uninsured, 20 percent of them are disabled children or adults. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more