Epilepsy Advocates Undeterred by Struggling Economy and Cold Temps

Mar 28, 2011, 13:23 ET from Epilepsy Foundation

Attendance Up at Epilepsy Foundation's Unprecedented Week of Awareness Activities

WASHINGTON,  March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of epilepsy advocates, caregivers, people with epilepsy and their families united on the National Mall to support the fifth annual National Walk for Epilepsy. The event is one in a series of national events to raise awareness about epilepsy.  The Concert for Epilepsy, National Walk for Epilepsy, the Public Policy Institute and Kids Speak Up! conferences, and the Distinguished Achievement Awards Gala will run March 27 through March 29 .

The non-competitive walk started at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 27, with live entertainment featuring local bands and a performance by special guest Connor Doran, an expert kite flier and finalist on the TV show America's Got Talent. Over the past 4 years, the Walk has raised over $4 million and engaged more than 25,000 people, including Hollywood celebrities, sports stars and award-winning musicians. This year's Walk is expected to increase those numbers to further support the Epilepsy Foundation's mission to stop seizures, find cures and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.

"Despite a tough economy and weather forecasts with snow, we knew this year's Walk was a success because early reports indicated a significant increase of participants prior to the event," said Epilepsy Foundation President and CEO Rich Denness. "The Walk and all of our events have gained momentum as more celebrities and people throughout the nation commit to educating others about epilepsy. We made the decision to schedule our key events together to further energize the epilepsy community and make it easier for advocates to lend their voices to the movement."

Walk participants had the opportunity to enjoy family activities, get information on epilepsy programs and services, and talk with experts in neurology about the latest research, treatment options and advice on living with the condition.

The National Walk for Epilepsy is just one of the Foundation's key awareness events in a 5-day period. The week started with the Concert for Epilepsy, which featured award-winning country music artists Josh Turner and Little Big Town on Saturday, March 26. Then came the Walk, followed by the Public Policy Institute and Kids Speak Up! conferences from March 27 through March 29. The conference unites young ambassadors, their families and other advocates for training sessions and seminars about the latest in epilepsy information and the importance of advocacy. Then on the evening of Tuesday, March 29, the Foundation will present its Distinguished Achievement Award to Frank Keating, former governor of Oklahoma, and president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, at a gala hosted by former White House Correspondent, Sam Donaldson. Visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org for more information on all of the events.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Please visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org for photos, video and more.

SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation