When Bailey Station Elementary School teacher Cindy Schepman asked her colleagues to support her family in a worthy cause this month, she already knew how they felt about it. For the past two years, her BSE colleagues had been sharing her fears and joys about Noah, her 17-month-old grandson.
Noah was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect that can cause nerve damage, bladder/bowel problems and hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). BSE was supportive when Noah and his mother, Lacey Schepman, underwent in utero surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and celebrated with the family when he was born in June 2013.
Her BSE friends rallied to the cause again on Nov. 8 as the walked and rolled strollers with Schepman and Noah through Overton Park in Memphis.
The Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida is a family-friendly walk event held in communities across the nation to raise awareness and celebrate the accomplishments of the more than 166,000 Americans living with this condition.
All proceeds are used for programs and services for people living with spina bifida.
This is the first year that the Walk-N-Roll has been held locally. Bailey Station faculty, staff and parents joined Noah’s parents, Jared and Lacey Schepman, to build a team in Noah’s name. Together with family and friends, Jared’s co-workers from Mid-America Apartments, and Lacey’s co-workers at FedEx, the team swelled to include more than 30 people.
In addition, Team Noah sold more than 130 T-shirts designed by Jared and Lacey to help raise awareness of spina bifida.
The event raised more than $41,000, and Team Noah was responsible for $5,095 of that total.
“I knew I could count on the support of Bailey Station,” Schepman said. “That’s just the kind of family we have here.”