On February 5th 1999 the auto racing community came together when Al Unser Jr. and Shelley's 12 yr. old daughter Cody laid in a hospital with a mysteries virus that in less than 24 hrs paralyzed her from the chest down. Transverse Myelitis was the culprit and The Cody Unser First Step Foundation was Cody's answer to make sure the public knew about this paralyzing, often times misdiagnosed condition.
Cody will tell you it was the worst and best day of her life. Growing up in and around race tracks, Cody was determined to live life to the fullest and stand on the gas. At the encouragement from her older brother Al, Cody found her quality of life and dream to become a certified SCUBA diver. She wanted that for other kids and spent the last 18yrs helping the dive industry to integrate people with disabilities in the sport that has become not only therapeutic but allowed Cody freedom from her chair and purpose to advocate.
"SCUBA saved my life! The ocean is the ultimate healer and we need to protect her! You can't put the ocean in a pill...you just have to get down there!"
Cody Unser armed with a small heart centered dive team began giving young kids at Camp Riley in Bradford woods a chance to try SCUBA one day every summer, from there these kids came back each year and began training to become divers....Now young adults this is their result.
For more information please visit the Cody Unser First Step Foundation Website at codysfirststep.org.