Epilepsy Awareness Day Disneyland Resort Brings Epilepsy Out of the Shadows

(Anaheim, CA – August 16, 2013) On November 7th, thousands of people from across the county are expected to attend the first ever medical awareness event at any Disney park as local and national non-profit groups work together to present Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland. The goal of this event is to bring epilepsy out of the shadows by creating a fun-filled day of inclusion and an opportunity for more Americans to be aware of this condition and its treatment.

Currently, 1 in 26 Americans will have epilepsy during their life, with children, the elderly and those with traumatic head injury such as veterans or athletes at greatest risk. Despite an international campaign to bring epilepsy “Out of the Shadows,” the average American with epilepsy hides their epilepsy in hopes that seizures do not occur at work, school or social events.

Epilepsy, a group of brain disorders characterized by seizures that affects people of all ages is characterized by recurring seizures that can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. While the great majority of persons with epilepsy can become seizure free and live productive lives with proper, prompt treatment, it is estimated that more people die from epilepsy every year than die of breast cancer.

Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland Resort 11/07/2013 is spearheaded by parents of children who have epilepsy, two of which had brain surgery to stop their seizures. Four years ago , Sofie Levy had a brain lesion removed to stop her multiple daily seizures. Now, 13 and seizure-free since surgery, Sofie told her parents, “Going to walks to fundraise for epilepsy groups does not seem like enough.” I am sad that others cannot get the surgery and get cured like I have.” Sofie’s brain surgeon, Dr. Gary Mathern, Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery program at UCLA, agrees that for the one third of children with epilepsy having uncontrolled convulsions despite best medical therapy, brain surgery is an important option that will only be available to more children and adults with increased awareness and funding. Jennifer Brooks, another co-host, is a single mother of a child with epilepsy and special needs, Ayden Downen. She also is an employee of Disneyland Resort, an active member of Disneyland’s families with special needs support group and had become friends with Brad Levy, practice manager for Dr. Diane Stein. Although her life is busy, she found time to help create a relationship between Disneyland Resort and the hosts and partners of Epilepsy Awareness Day Disneyland in hopes of Ayden growing up with acceptance and treatment options.

Also Co-Hosting, Brad and Monika Jones’s son had half his brain removed to stop severe epilepsy in infancy. Together they founded The Brain Recovery Project, a non-profit group seeking to improve the recovery of young people who have had brain surgery to treat their epilepsy. “We are so pleased to be partnering with so many wonderful people and groups, without them Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland Resort 2013 could not have happened.”

Tickets include full day admission to Disneyland Park on the event day, a small donation to the partner group of choice, as well as Participation Pack (can be purchased separately): a gift bag with official purple epilepsy awareness event shirt. Come join us in your purple event shirt and be in group and individual photos by celebrity photographer Brian Kramer or videos to share with the world.

To become a sponsor, partner, or volunteer contact Candy: candy2013ead@yahoo.com

For tickets and more visit: www.epilepsyawarenessday.org.

Tickets are not available at the door or on the Disneyland Resort website.

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