Did you know every November since 1969 has been recognized as National Epilepsy Awareness Month? In fact, thanks to the work of many organizations, National Epilepsy Awareness Month was recognized in a formal resolution passed by Congress in 2003.
About 470,000 kids are affected by epilepsy in the U.S., (approximately 13,000 of these children are in the Central Valley alone), which is why we strive to make Valley Children’s a resource for our families. In doing so, Valley Children’s is the only hospital in Central California to be named a level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
Valley Children’s sees the importance of epilepsy awareness year-round, but especially during November. So, for three years we have recognized this important month to elevate epilepsy with our Elevate Epilepsy Caped Crusaders and our Parade of Purple around Valley Children’s Campus: A Walk for a Cause. This event is hosted by our Epilepsy Support Program and aims to help spread the word about epilepsy to our communities.
At this fun event, participants get to join our Epilepsy Support Program team and families for music, face painting, raffles, balloon animals and more. As a bonus, they also received event swag, like T-shirts and purple capes! This event is extremely loved by our patients and families for bringing awareness to epilepsy.
This year, our event was held at our main campus in Madera and was free for all participants. Caitlin Bernard-Vincent, Epilepsy Program Manager, states “To see so many families come out to support one another, wear their purple, and march in the rain was truly humbling. The stories shared, friends made, and hope gained from events like these are why we strive to bring our best every day for our families. We even had a special guest come speak; Congressman Jim Costa, who this year started a National Epilepsy Caucus, is here supporting us nationally. Congressman Costa encouraged our families never to give up striving for their dreams and to not let epilepsy stop them from believing in themselves."
To get more information on our Epilepsy Support Program or to learn how to contribute to ensure events like this can happen in the future for our patients and families, visit https://www.valleychildrens.org/epilepsy-support-program/epilepsy-support