Liz Graham wrote -
Four years ago, I helped form a team to raise money to fight cancer. This team was aptly named "Press On Regardless" to honor the memory of my father and his courageous battle with cancer. His mantra was to "press on regardless" and so we did. Beginning in 2008, this team participated in an annual cycling event - the 24 Hours of Booty bike ride held in Charlotte, NC. This bike ride raises money for local and national cancer charities (including LIVESTRONG) and over the course of four events our team was able to raise THOUSANDS of dollars for these efforts.
This spring, my life changed. My fabulous 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. Watching your child have her first seizure can be frightening, but hearing the actual diagnosis can be frightening as well. Our lives have changed. Her life has changed to include: twice daily medication, no bathing alone, no climbing trees and more. Yet, she continues to walk through life with a smile on her face, a bounce in her step and the knowledge that no matter what, our family will "Press On Regardless".
The epilepsy statistics are staggering:
- Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide
- Over 326,000 children under the age of 15 have epilepsy
- Of those 326,000, more than 90,000 will have seizures that do not respond to treatment
- Over 45,000 children are diagnosed with epilepsy each year
- Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the U.S. after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease.
- Its prevalence is greater than autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease combined. Despite how common it is and major advances in diagnosis and treatment, epilepsy is among the least understood of major chronic medical conditions.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and on November 17, I will take part in Charlotte's Thunder Road Half Marathon. I will run to honor Ava and her fight. Will you help by supporting our cause? By making a donation, big or small, you can help provide the Epilepsy Foundation with much needed research funding toward better treatment options and ultimately a cure.
And together, we will, PRESS ON REGARDLESS!
Thank you so much,
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say: I used everything you gave me.” ~Erma Bombeck