Courtesy of Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado (Facebook)
Did you know that one in every 26 Americans will develop some form of epilepsy throughout their lifetime? This condition affects approximately 60,000 of our fellow Coloradans, that means that you or someone you know will be touched by this disease or may already face it.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects people of all ages and stages of life. Harriet Tubman, President Theodore Roosevelt, music legend Prince, and rapper Little Wayne are among those who have battled epilepsy. The disorder causes those affected to suffer from recurrent unprovoked, unpredictable, and incurable seizures.
The severity of epilepsy is on a spectrum, some affected may have it as a child and then grow out of it as adults, while others will struggle with the chronic disorder their whole lives. Epilepsy can be caused by an injury to the brain, genetic, or often has no known cause. Seizures affect cognitive awareness; motor symptoms can involve paralysis and rapid rhythmical jerking of muscles, as well as involuntary spasms. Non-motor symptoms affect emotion, cognition, thought process, autonomic functions, and the ability for movement.Â
There are many different types of seizures that can happen with epilepsy, which itself cannot be defined as one singular disease. There’s close to a dozen different types of epilepsy that one can be diagnosed with.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Treatments are available to improve the quality of life for epileptic individuals, with old and newly developed medications available to control and manage seizures. The process of finding what medication works for a specific patient is a long process: full of ups and downs, and trial and error to hit that perfect combination of factors that works. Sometimes a treatment or medication will work for a little while, butÂ then, after time, the medications no longer have a positive benefit.
Not all forms of epilepsy are treatable with medication, and research into new and more effective treatments is ongoing. Other options such as a Ketogenic diet, surgery, responsive neurostimulation devices, Vagus nerve stimulation, and cannabidiol (CBD) have shown to aid in the treatment of hard to control seizures.
Colorado is a place that many who suffer from seizures travel to, as the availability of alternative treatment such as cannabis-based CBD oils is much higher here than in most of the country. The condition does not act the same in everyone so finding the treatment that works is an individual journey. What works for one person may have no impact on others, with a range of side effects from treatments affecting other areas of life.
Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado is one of the largest organizations supporting epilepsy in the state and is part of the national Epilepsy Foundation. The organization is sponsoring two events this summer to raise awareness for our friends and neighbors who face epilepsy every day.
Courtesy of Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado, Facebook.
The 2019 STRIDES for Epilepsy 5K Walk/RunÂ event will be held at Denverâ€™s City Park on Sunday, June 9, and registration is already open. So far, there are over 700 participants registered and $67,000 has been raised. This is the state’s largest awareness event all year, and all proceeds will go to directly support those in ColoradoÂ with epilepsy throughÂ summer camps, support groups, referral services, care management, and epilepsy education.Â Along with the run/walk event, there will be food, games, music, and entertainment as well as medical professionals available to chat throughout the day.
You can register through the event page, as well as set up a fundraising team if you want to race and raise money in honor of a specific person. Donations are tax deductible.
Courtesy of Valley Country Club, Facebook.
If you live in the Denver metro area and you play golf, there is a great opportunity coming up for you to be a part of making a difference in the lives of our neighbors who live with and care for those with epilepsy.
On July 29,Â the firstÂ Drive-$60K for 60K Golf TournamentÂ will be held at Valley Country Club in Centennial (14601 Country Club Dr.).Â The goal of this tournament is to raise $60K for the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado.
The tournament costs $250/player, $500/double, $750/threesome, or $1,000/foursome. This event is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start; the game begins at noon. A dinner and an auction will follow the event, with dinner only tickets costing $50/person.
RegistrationÂ can be done through the event’s website.
More information about epilepsy and how it affects lives, what treatments and research are being done, and how to support those who live with epilepsy can be found through Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado’s website and Facebook page.Â Hope to see you out there at one of these fun-filled events!
Also, next week â€“ May 20-26 â€“ is National Epilepsy Awareness Week!