LOS ANGELES, Oct. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles — which offers a range of services and programs for children and adults with epilepsy and their loved ones — will host its annual Walk to End Epilepsy on November 5, 2017 starting at 8 a.m. at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Walk to End Epilepsy is a non-competitive 5K walk or run (or 1 mile stroll) where participants can enjoy activities, exhibits, food and entertainment.
“The Walk to End Epilepsy brings our community together to affect change, support year-round care, advocacy, research and education programs,” said Executive Director Susan Pietsch-Escueta. “The event is our largest fundraiser of the year and its success helps to improve the lives of families affected by epilepsy. We are extremely grateful to all of our participating teams, individuals, healthcare professionals and sponsors for joining our fight to end epilepsy.”
Walk to End Epilepsy draws approximately 5,000 individuals with epilepsy, family and friends, as well as medical professionals from the Epilepsy Centers at major medical institutions in the region. The event will feature a pop-up village with family-fun activities, information booths and a big brain exhibit that features brain information and brain care tips. In addition, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek will join the Walk to kick-off the event.
“I’m very excited to be a part of this year’s Walk and support the efforts of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles to connect the community with resources and information to improve care,” said Mayor Tornek. “This is a great cause which helps families get to treatment today while helping fund research cures.”
The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that epilepsy is on the rise in the U.S. with approximately 3.4 million adults and 470,000 children living with epilepsy. In the Greater Los Angeles region alone, there are more than 160,000 individuals affected by epilepsy.
“Epilepsy knows no boundaries, it can impact anyone regardless of age, race, socio-economic status and geography,” said Dr. Deborah Holder, Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “The epilepsies can have a wide range of impact and some can lead to early death and that’s why early diagnosis and treatment are critical. It is important for caregivers and the general public to know how to recognize seizures and be able to administer first aid right away.”
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles educates families and the general public on how to better understand epilepsy, recognize seizures and perform seizure first aid. The Foundation helps support the training of pediatric epilepsy specialists and has fueled the growth of pediatric epilepsy programs in our region so there is greater access to specialty care.
“With the rising numbers of individuals with epilepsy, there is a need for more specialists in the field to ensure proper diagnoses and provide the best care needed in a timely manner,” said Pietsch-Escueta. “Through our Helpline and Care+Cure Initiative we speed referrals and expand access to epilepsy specialists in the greater Los Angeles region so that families don’t have to wait as long, or drive as far, to see a specialist to help them get control of their epilepsy seizures.”
The Care+Cure Initiative is an effort to address the gap by funding fellowships and trainings of epilepsy specialists. Most recently, the Foundation funded an epilepsy neurosurgery fellowship at UC Irvine and CHOC Children’s, as well as the training of 23 pediatric neurologists/epileptologists at three epilepsy centers in Los Angeles: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA; and LA County+USC Medical Center.
Epileptologists, neurologists, nurses and other medical staff from these three local Epilepsy Centers have formed teams and will be participating at the Walk on behalf of everyone affected by epilepsy. Individuals, families and corporate teams interested in participating in the Walk can register online at WalktoEndEpilepsy.org.
About Epilepsy and Seizures
Any brain can have a seizure so everyone needs to know about seizure first aid. There are different types of seizures and epilepsies that affect women and men of all ages, races, and ethnic groups. The epilepsies are disorders/diseases of the brain with different causes, such as head trauma, genetics, inflammation, infection, brain malformation, stroke, birth injury and more. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt other brain functions. Seizures are symptoms of epilepsy. Currently, there is no cure for epilepsy. However, there are several types of treatments and some epilepsies go away on their own. With the appropriate individualized treatment many people with epilepsy can gain control of their seizures.
About the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles
Established in 1957 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY® and the burden of seizures. The Foundation’s fundraising and community efforts support care, advocacy and education, today, while investing in research and hope for tomorrow. Visit the Foundation online at ENDEPILEPSY.org.