More than 3 million people in the United States suffer from Epilepsy at an estimated cost of 15.5 billion annually. In the U.S. more than 300,000 people with Epilepsy are under the Age of 14; more than 500,000 are over the age of 65. While most people with this Disorder live a full life, potential factors associated with Epilepsy and Seizures do increase the risk of early mortality. Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy [SUDEP] accounts for 10% of all Epilepsy-related deaths; 85% of these fatalities occur between the ages of 20 -50.
SUDEP incidence is approximately 1 in 1000 people with Epilepsy annually-more than 10 times the sudden death rate found in the general population. Many of us have buried children-all whom died from seizures in their sleep and many of the Children were ages 4 and under. I have Epilepsy in family and friends lives so after the last Funeral, I decided enough was enough and the Epilepsy Warriors Foundation was formed.
Launched in May of 2011, the Foundation was originally implemented as a social media group via Facebook. Within four days of opening the group “Fighting Seizures on Behalf of our Kids”, I had over 200 members. Within a month, I was up to 500. Today, we have the support of over 1600 members. Seeing the burgeoning need for Epilepsy education , advocacy and support, I took the next step towards forming a tax-exempt, tax deductible, organization with the goal to improve lives through leadership and education.