Young Latina spina bifida activist to launch non-profit venture at Hispanicize 2016

Laurita Tellado, writer, blogger, editor, voiceover talent and lifelong activist, is proud to announce the star-studded launch of The Laurita Spina Bifida Project, Inc., (The LSB Project) a non-profit organization, as well as its partnership with Hispanicize during their 2016 event in Miami.

The LSB Project is unique in its unprecedented focus on the quality of life of people living with spina bifida. This will be the organization’s first official public event since its creation in 2014. In October 2015, Tellado met informally with a group of adults with spina bifida in Paris, France, where she was interviewed by the French Spina Bifida Association (ASBH, in French).The official launch event and simultaneous Twitter party is set to take place on April 6th at 5:00 PM EST, and will feature special celebrity guests Gaby Natale, Martín Llorens, and Pili Montilla during a Happy Hour at

The official launch event and simultaneous Twitter party is set to take place on April 6th at 5:00 PM EST, and will feature special celebrity guests Gaby Natale, Martín Llorens, and Pili Montilla during a Happy Hour at Toro Toro Miami inside the trendy, chic InterContinental Miami hotel near Biscayne Bay.

“On behalf of our volunteer board of directors and myself, we are so thrilled and grateful to have the support of the Hispanicize community in introducing this project to the world,” said Laurita Tellado, Founder and President of The LSB Project. “As an adult living with spina bifida myself, I am keenly aware of many of the issues that personally affect this community, and are not being adequately addressed or emphasized by other organizations. The LSB Project is the culmination of a childhood dream of mine, and it will be incredible to be able to share it with everyone on none other than the Hispanicize stage, with the support of some of the most prominent His-panic and non-Hispanic influencers in the nation.”

Tellado will participate in a panel discussion on Friday, April 8th, Leveraging Our Multicultural Influence for Commerce, Justice, and Social Good presented by The Calvert Foundation, at Hispanicize 2016.

She has been an activist for raising awareness of spina bifida since the age of 10, and in 2009, Tellado launched the blog “Holdin’ Out for a Hero,” to share her crusade on a digital platform.

Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While women of childbearing age are now recom-mended to take folic acid to prevent the occurrence of spina bifida in up to 70 percent of cases, there are as many as 166,000 people living with spina bifida in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latinos have the highest incidence of spina bifida of all ethnicities.

“Many organizations that cater to the spina bifida community are almost exclusively focusing on preventing spina bifida, and are founded and run by parents and health professionals,” Tellado said. “The Laurita Spina Bifida Project seeks to educate the community about the issues affect-ing those of us currently living with spina bifida. We are the first organization of our kind— con-ceptualized and founded by an individual who is living with spina bifida.”conceptualized and founded by an individual who is living with spina bifida.”

Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that leaves an opening in the underdeveloped spine at birth. It is more common than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis combined.

“Hispanicize is proud to support Laurita Tellado in launching The Laurita Spina Bifida Project. Laurita has been devoted to helping people impacted by spina bifida for many years and I know she will be a dynamic champion for this condition that disproportionately affects Latinos more than any other ethnic group,” said Manny Ruiz, CEO and founder of Hispanicize, which in-cludes the annual Hispanicize event (www.HispanicizeEvent.com).

When asked about why she decided to start a non-profit, Tellado explains it’s all about creating community.

“I’ve been contacted from adults with spina bifida, and parents of children with spina bifida, from across the globe,” Tellado said. “Almost unanimously, they have all expressed a keen desire to connect with someone else who is experiencing the same things they are. That’s what The LSB Project is about— creating a global community while educating the public, as well as health care providers, about the most pressing issues we face. These include social isolation and depres-sion. And the only way to address these issues adequately is to create a multimedia campaign to shed light on that which isn’t discussed openly.”

The LSB Project recently started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo’s Generosity site to raise funds for what will be a global, multimedia, multilingual, and multicultural awareness cam-paign.

Hispanicize will hold its seventh annual event for content creators and influencers in Downtown Miami, April 4-8, 2016.

“Having the support of the Hispanicize community means everything to me, and to the spina bifida community,” Tellado said. “It means getting our message out in front of thousands of jour-nalists and influencers, and also educating the most commonly affected demographic. Chances are someone else at Hispanicize will know someone who is touched by spina bifida, and just having the knowledge that someone else can relate is pretty powerful.”

The Laurita Spina Bifida Project will be launching its web site soon at www.lauritaspinabifidaproject.org. In the meantime, you can follow news of the project on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

For more information, please contact Laurita Tellado at laurita@lauritaspinabifidaproject.org.