IRL: Cody Unser Provides Inspiration

Unser Provides Inspiration During Talk At Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Luncheon in Indianapolis Tuesday INDIANAPOLIS, May 16 - Cody Unser wants everyone to stand on the gas. The daughter of two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and ...

Unser Provides Inspiration During Talk At Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Luncheon in Indianapolis Tuesday

INDIANAPOLIS, May 16 - Cody Unser wants everyone to stand on the gas.

The daughter of two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and granddaughter of four-time winner Al Unser gave that message to approximately 250 people who attended the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary's first annual Spring Luncheon Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency here.

Cody's father and grandfather were in attendance at the luncheon, where she received a key to the city from emcee Bob Jenkins on behalf of Mayor Bart Peterson.

Cody Unser, 19, hasn't let being paralyzed since the age of 12 stop her from living an active and successful life. She suffers from transverse myelitis, a neurological syndrome caused by spinal cord inflammation. She has not let this get in the way of her achieving her goals such as scuba diving, attending college, and helping not-for-profit groups like her own Cody Unser First Step Foundation and the Salvation Army.

Although she admitted that it's human to not be fully aware of one's blessings until they are taken away, she stressed the importance of living life to the fullest and not letting fear set limits.

"Humor is the best medicine," she said. "In racing they have a saying that you should 'Stand on the gas!' We should all stand on the gas in life too and live it to the fullest every day. Even though my body is paralyzed, my voice is not! Remind yourself that it's all good."

Unser also said that sometimes she stands on the gas too much, "as you could see by the number of speeding tickets I've gotten!"

Racing has always been a part of her life. When asked how she felt about her father returning to the cockpit, she said, "I'm excited about his return. I knew he couldn't stay away."

As for plans for watching her father in this year's Indy 500, she said, "I might get together with some friends and watch. I don't really know yet."

For more information on Cody Unser and her First Step Foundation, see codysfirststep.org.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited the Salvation Army's Women's Auxiliary.

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Al Unser