Local founder of cerebral palsy group shares story

“Light the Path” gala Oct. 24

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Jamie Eppele knows what it’s like to care for individuals with cerebral palsy, both of her twin sons — Alex and Lucas who are Four Points Middle School 6th graders — have CP.

Eppele wanted to bring more support and programs to those with cerebral palsy so five years ago she co-founded Cerebral Palsy Awareness Transition Hope, or CPATH, a 501c3 non-profit organization.

“As a mom of twins both with CP, I recognized the importance of having programs, adaptive social outings, and support within my local community,” said Eppele. She and her husband have lived in River Place for 18 years. In addition to their 12-year-old twins, the couple has a son who is 15 and a freshman at Vandegrift.  

Along with two other founders — Marielle Deckard from Pflugerville and PISD and Victoria Polega from Highland Hills and Austin ISD — there are four additional board members of CPATH.

CPATH provides resources, support, and financial assistance to children, individuals, and families living with cerebral palsy.

CPATH helps entire families attend Camp CPals, an overnight weekend camp with adaptive facilities. Individuals with cerebral palsy can participate in previously unthought of activities like zip lines.

The camp helps support children like Valentina who had never been to camp prior to Camp CPals.

“It made her feel like the 7-year-old that she is, she was more than just her disability, her diagnosis,” her mom said. “She was a kid who love activities that require helmets. I had never seen her so happy and excited, for such a long time. I don’t think she’ll ever forget that weekend.”

CPATH also helps families with expensive medical treatments such as weekly, physical therapy sessions, leg/foot orthotics, and surgical procedures, which are vital to quality of life improvements for those with CP.

Additionally, CPATH gives families opportunities to connect with others in the community.  Donations are used to host respite days, fund grants, and provide activities for all ages.

CPATH invites the community to their 4th annual “Light the Path” gala sponsored by Child Neurology Consultants of Austin. The fundraiser will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Gather Venue 5540 N. Lamar 7 – 10 p.m. There will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a vast silent auction, a live artist, and inspiring guest speakers.

CPATH is the only organization in Central Texas dedicated to serving persons with cerebral palsy. For more information, visit www.CPATHtexas.org or email jamie@cpathtexas.org.

The Eppele family has lived in River Place for 18 years: Jacob, Pete and Jamie are in back and Alex and Lucas are in front. Jamie co-founded CPATH to help those with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Transition Hope, or CPATH, founders and executive board are L-R Marielle Deckard, Jamie Eppele (River Place resident), and Victoria Polega.

Olivia Sanchez tries the zip line at CPATH’s camp.