MAPLE GROVE, Minn., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. (Upsher-Smith), in partnership with The Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey (EFNJ), today announced that the Pretz family from Brielle, New Jersey was awarded sponsorship to attend The Epilepsy Foundation's National Walk for Epilepsy® in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2013.
Todd and Ellen Pretz's 17-year-old daughter, Kelly, was diagnosed with benign rolandic epilepsy when she was just 10 years old. Benign rolandic epilepsy is a condition in which seizures affect the face and sometimes the body.1 Since her diagnosis, Kelly has embraced her role as an advocate for kids with epilepsy. "Our daughter, Kelly, traveled to Washington, D.C. last year to speak on Capitol Hill on behalf of EFNJ, and she met some great kids," said Ellen Pretz, the 17-year-old's mother. "She was so excited to be there again as a participant in the Walk this year, and we are so thankful to Upsher-Smith and the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey for this special opportunity."
About the Pretz Family
Todd and Ellen Pretz live in Brielle, New Jersey with their four daughters: Kimberly, Jenni, Amy and Kelly. The youngest of the four, Kelly was diagnosed with benign rolandic epilepsy at age 10 after suffering a tonic-clonic seizure. Ellen credits all her girls with making it possible to get through the rough times following Kelly's diagnosis, saying they have always been hugely supportive of their sister. The whole family participates in EFNJ events, and Kelly volunteers there on a weekly basis.
At age 13, Kelly wrote a book which was published the following year. Rain at Midnight is a young adult fiction novel based on Kelly's experiences with epilepsy. She is also known in her community for her annual Purple Day movement which coincides each year with National Epilepsy Day on March 26. Kelly, her sisters and their friends also make bracelets which they sell at their high school to benefit EFNJ.
This past year, Kelly created a teen mentoring program to help younger kids with epilepsy. Her first meeting, held in December, drew sixteen kids between the ages of 13 and 22.
"Kelly is such a neat young woman. In some ways, her condition has ended up being a blessing because it brought out such wonderful qualities in her," says her mother. "We drive her places, we support her, but everything she does is all her – it's her brainchild."
Kelly's book, Rain at Midnight, is available locally at Booktowne, 171 Main Street in Manasquan, NJ, 732-722-7255, and at Earth Goddess, 28 South Main Street in Allentown, NJ, 609-223-2370.
About the National Walk for Epilepsy®
The National Walk for Epilepsy® is a family oriented, noncompetitive walk in our nation's capital to raise awareness and funds to stop seizures and SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy Patients), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. The Walk helps to support new and innovative epilepsy research, develop programs to educate first responders and support advocacy efforts against epilepsy-related discrimination and national healthcare reform.
This year marks the seventh anniversary of The National Walk for Epilepsy® in Washington, D.C. Each year, more than 5,000 people participate in The Walk in support of over two million Americans who live with epilepsy every day as well as their friends and loved ones. For more information on The National Walk for Epilepsy®, visit: www.walkforepilepsy.org.
About The Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey
The Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey (EFNJ), an affiliate of the National Epilepsy Foundation and The Family Resource Network, provides programs for families living with epilepsy such as a residential summer camp, support groups, scholarships, referral programs and respite care. EFNJ also institutes free educational presentations about seizure first aid and police training. Those interested in any of its programs may contact Jenna Andolora at 800-336-5843 or via email at [email protected]. To learn more, please visit: http://www.efnj.com.
Upsher-Smith, founded in 1919, is an independent and privately-owned specialty pharmaceutical company with offices in Minnesota, Colorado and New Jersey that focus on product growth and innovation for branded, branded-generic and generic pharmaceuticals. Upsher-Smith has a particular focus on developing therapies to assist people suffering from central nervous system diseases (including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease) and also markets products relating to cardiology, dermatology, and women's health. For more information, visit www.upsher-smith.com.
1. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/what-is-benign-rolandic-epilepsy. Accessed on March 26, 2013.
SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.