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5km Fun Run Gives Children the Gift of Communication

Raising money for Assistive Technology Devices for children with special needs

Von Gastautor Joy Lo − 22. Juni 2017 remove_red_eye 2.746 Views

Apex social has a passionate team of people in the USA (= apex PROaupair Team) who love to work with Professional Au Pairs. Theresa Edwards, apex PROaupair's Director of Field Operations, lives in Missouri and joined the company in 2016.


Edwards FamilyTheresa has worked in the Au Pair industry for over 23 years! In her role, Theresa supports the Area Directors that work with apex PROaupair’s Professional Au Pairs. Theresa likes apex PROaupair because of her personal connection with an experience that many of our host families, staff and professional au pairs share - Theresa’s daughter, Sophie, had special needs.

"When approached to join the apex PROaupair team, I was excited about combining my purpose and passion, helping children with special needs, with my career" says Theresa. This is something that many professional au pairs can relate to.

Special needs as a chance, not a challenge

Sophie was born in 1992 and was later diagnosed with a seizure disorder and other medical issues. She passed away in 2010 and her family has many happy memories from their time with her.  Theresa says "Our family has become richer – each one of us in our private way learned from Sophie. We learned to love her and she loved us."

Throughout her life, one of the problems that Sophie faced was communicating with other people.

5k run"We had searched for a communication device that Sophie could access all her life. It was a challenge given that her limbs were affected by tone from spasticity and her body was challenged by the energy metabolism disorder that was the basis of her health issues. Sophie communicated with us through her eyes and in 2008, we found an eye gaze computer that Sophie could operate. It took months to locate the sources to fund the $17,000 device (about €15,200), only to have it delivered 1 week after Sophie's funeral. We donated the equipment to the local school to help other children with special needs"  Theresa explained.

Run for a good cause

After this, Theresa and her family started Sophie's Run, a 5k run first held in 2012 to honor Sophie's memory and raise money for Assistive Technology Devices for children with special needs.

"Our goal through the Sophie’s Run @ Lake Waukomis Foundation, is to never see a child have to wait to communicate. In addition to the trial devices we purchased for the school district's library, we have purchased communication devices for 38 children since May of 2014 and there are currently 6 more applications being reviewed."

Sophie's RunThe 5th annual Sophie's run was held on May 6, 2017 and enabled at least 15 students with special needs to receive communication devices for the upcoming school year. While Theresa, Sophie and the entire Edwards family had to experience hard things, today Sophie's life is helping hundreds of people.

For more information about Sophie's Run or to read more of Theresa's story, go to


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