CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, was founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back and accept the debilitating effects of epilepsy, these parents joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure.
CURE’s mission is not only driven by the pressing need for scientific research and data, but by the painful struggle of families who suffer from epilepsy worldwide.
Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised more than $18 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for epilepsy. CURE funds seed grants to young and established investigators to explore new areas and collect the data necessary to apply for further funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To date, CURE has awarded 116 cutting-edge projects.
CURE boasts a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of five highly-esteemed epilepsy specialists from around the country. In addition, over 300 scientists lend their epilepsy expertise to review grant applications.
CURE co-sponsored the National Institutes of Health Conference—the first of its kind, initiated by the White House to focus on epilepsy—and has lent support to other relevant workshops and conferences, including the March 2007 NIH Conference. In addition, CURE was one of the key sponsors involved in helping shape the direction and outcome of a newly commissioned Institute of Medicine report set to be issued in 2012, “The Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies.” CURE was also instrumental in the creation of the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks which were created to help guide the research community toward a cure.
CURE has also worked to establish epilepsy as a disease that merits and now receives crucial research funding through a partnership with the Department of Defense, awarding grants in the area of “Prevention of Epilepsy After Traumatic Brain Injury.”
CURE is increasing awareness through national media exposure, including a national ad campaign and cover story that first appeared in PARADE magazine. Chair and co-founder, Susan Axelrod, along with several board members and CURE supporters, have been featured in publications such as Newsweek, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Susan has also appeared on the TODAY show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, in a special segment on “60 Minutes” with Katie Couric, Fox News Network, CNN with Campbell Brown, and CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.
CURE’s founder and chair has been recognized internationally for work in advocacy. Those honors have included awards from Washington, DC-based Research!America, the Child Neurology Foundation and the American Epilepsy Society. Most recently, Susan was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago Magazine and recognized as an Ambassador for Epilepsy by the International League against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.