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​​Cerebral Palsy Awareness Transition Hope

Victoria Polega, President

Victoria Polega and husband Jeff are most proud of their roles as parents to Ben and Josh, two energetic and loving kids. A native Texan, Victoria graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Applied Learning and Development. She taught multiage classes in Austin ISD for 8 years and continues to use her degree as an advocate for her son with Cerebral Palsy.

Volunteering has always played an important role in Victoria’s life. She has worked extensively with numerous charities, including children’s advocacy centers and national centers to prevent child abuse. She continues to play a lead role in the advocacy of all children through a match program where she is able to support and provide resources to other families. Victoria’s operational expertise is grounded in her experience as an office manager and set up director for a foundation that assists elderly, low income, and individuals with disabilities.

Some of Victoria’s favorite activities include weekends with her family at the beach, traveling, and curling up with a good book.

“I have great respect for the everyday challenges families encounter. My strength through this journey is a direct result of the support of my family, my friends and my hope. This organization will make a positive impact in our community and I’m proud to work with such a passionate team.”

Marielle Deckard, Secretary

Marielle is a wife and a mother of three boys Drew, Mason and Luke. Her eldest, Drew was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation and was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at two years old. She is one of the founders of CPATH and is currently serving on the Board of Directors as Secretary. As the mother of three active boys, she knows how to juggle competing activities and keep everyone organized and will leverage these skills in her role as Secretary.

Marielle graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. With over 20 years of supporting executives in the nine to five world, she will use her knowledge and experience to assist CPATH’s future growth. Marielle is very involved in her children’s school activities, Cub Scout pack and serving as team mom for her sons’ baseball teams. She enjoys country western dancing, turkey hunting with her husband Steven and crafting!

Jamie L. Eppele, Development

Jamie Eppele relocated to Austin with her husband Pete in the summer of 2000 and has called Austin home ever since. They are the proud parents of three boys, Jacob age 13 and 11-year-old twins, Alexander and Lucas. The twins were born premature at 29 weeks.  As a result of their prematurity, both boys have PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia) and have Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia and Autism.

Jamie is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Engineering.  She also holds an MBA from Northern Kentucky University. Jamie spent much of her career working with customers, focusing on building marketing programs, and maximizing program efficiencies.  On the Board Jamie focuses on growing community outreach, engaging the CP population through various social media platforms, and building our annual fundraising program. 

She spends her time engaging the boys in daily sport and therapeutic activities and being an advocate for children with special needs. Jamie is involved with PTA, Booster Club, and is a regular volunteer for her children's school, especially the school garden. 

Jamie is also an avid athlete and enjoys running and cycling. She routinely participates in half marathon and triathlon events.  She completed her first Ironman Triathlon in May 2015.

Ilona McCauley, Public Relations

Ilona and her husband Micah are the proud parents of two girls. Alexa is six years old and Julia is four. At one week of age, Julia contracted a virus leading to a hypoxic brain injury. As a result, Julia was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age 1. Julia’s determination and motivation along with support and inspiration from her older sister Alexa has allowed her to grow and develop into a vibrant little girl.

Ilona is a proud Wildcat who graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. Ilona’s love of the weather and interest in TV broadcasting brought her to Austin in February of 2000 as a meteorologist and reporter for top ranked KVUE-TV. During her 14 years with the station Ilona has had the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of individuals. Ilona has been recognized by her co-workers and management for her outstanding work promoting the values and integrity of KVUE-TV.

Ilona understands the challenges that come with a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis and is honored to be working with a group of individuals who recognize the value of this type of organization. She is passionate about sharing her experience to help families navigate their path.

Ilona enjoys being active in the community and is a supporter of education. She received her teaching certificate in 2007 and taught middle school science for two years. Now, in her spare time, Ilona is often found volunteering in her daughter’s school and visiting local schools to share her love of science. Ilona also finds time to enjoy other hobbies such as attending boot camp, running, reading and home décor. Ilona treasures every minute with Alexa, Julia and Micah and their rescued German Shepard, Rudy.

helping navigate the cerebral palsy path

​​Cerebral Palsy Awareness Transition Hope