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formerly, The Evergreen Spina Bifida Association

"I had to fight to get opportunities."

In honor of Gloria's legacy, we are launching the Gloria Olson Independent Living Award to empower adults living with Spina Bifida to reach their potential. In Gloria's own raising of her two children, she learned it is important to let children have their own experiences. Gloria added that her children were able to learn to be themselves, learn to discipline themselves and instill self-worth. As a mother, she felt she needed to provide the skills, basic values, and sense of respect, but couldn't force, rather allowed the freedom to express. Gloria also felt that being involved in lots of activities helped keep her healthy, especially as a child. As Gloria matured, she reflected that she often withdrew instead of coping. Gloria understood the need for supportive help when you are living with a disability and she had a deep respect for a sense of community. To reflect all of Gloria's hopes for one's growth, SBAWS is honored to support adults with Spina Bifida by hosting a yearly award to benefit the pursuit of living independently. 


"I'm an individual first with a disability."

Gloria led the charge that individuals with a disability have "so much more potential" than the system will allow. To receive SSI and Medicaid benefits, individuals with disabilities must keep their earning maximum low in order to have their healthcare needs met. Gloria continued that individuals with disabilities feel held down and judged by society especially for not contributing through the workforce which insults one's dignity. Not only did Gloria attend numerous Spina Bifida conventions and learning opportunities over the 22 years involved with the Evergreen Spina Bifida Association (now SBAWS), but she also testified in Congress and pursued legislative lobbying. Gloria couldn't "wait for changes!" 


"I'm a whole person inside."

In Gloria's own words, "connecting with love makes a BIG difference." Gloria felt healthier when she related with people using this philosophy. Please help us spread love & health to the many adults in our community living with Spina Bifida seeking support & care. Give BIG towards our Adult Community and the Gloria Olson Independent Living Award plus the upcoming fall Adult Summit.