Igniting Epilepsy Awareness

By Nancy Brown
Wednesday - January 13, 2010 Share

By Nancy Brown, Executive Director
The Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii

More than 15,000 Hawaii residents have epilepsy, but there is a tendency for people with epilepsy not to talk about it. They often think they are the only person who has epilepsy. On every occasion when we talk to people who have epilepsy, they inevitably say, “I do not know anyone else with epilepsy.”

The Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii (EFH) wants to change that by spreading the message: “You are not alone.”


EFH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences. We provide information and educational services to help dispel common myths about epilepsy, promote public awareness and understanding of epilepsy, inform people with seizures about our services and programs, and educate the public about the symptoms of epilepsy and seizures.

Kalani Reyes, one of many Hawaii residents who has epilepsy, rides a horse at one of EFH’s Teen Mixer events

Epilepsy is the third most-common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. It is equal in prevalence to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain. There are many kinds of seizures, but all involve abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes an involuntary change in body movement or function, sensation, awareness or behavior.

Our first public awareness and fundraising event of 2010 is Sharon’s Ride/Run/Walk for Epilepsy. This year’s eighth annual Sharon’s Ride will be Sunday, Jan. 31. For full details, to register or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.hawaiiepilepsy.com.

We also hold Teen Mixers that bring together teens living with epilepsy for fun, safe social activities including horseman-ship, box-car racing and paddling. For more information or to sign up for these free activities, please e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 528-3058.


Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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