Northwest Youth Rally for Epilepsy on Capitol Hill

Mar 23, 2010, 20:41 ET from Epilepsy Foundation Northwest

Epilepsy Foundation Presents the Eighth Annual Kids Speak Up! Program

SEATTLE, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation Northwest announced today several northwest youth representatives and their parents are participating in the annual Kids Speak Up! Conference in Washington D.C. this week and will visit with elected representatives on Capitol Hill.  The eighth annual event is being held March 23 through March 25 and will culminate with visits with Oregon and Washington elected officials.

Teenager Alexander Stewart and his mother, Tammy, from Spokane Valley, WA and teen Rachel Cobb and her mother, Kelly, from Salem, OR will represent the Epilepsy Foundation Northwest (EFNW) delegation.  Joining them will be coordinator for the EFNW Speak Up Speak Out program, Brian Wiele from Olympia, WA.

Kids Speak Up! is a grassroots initiative bringing together young people with epilepsy between the ages of 8-17 to be advocates and speak out on epilepsy issues.  Each year, teenage representatives and a family member travel to Washington, D.C. to share their personal stories and educate government representatives about issues important to people with epilepsy. The goal is to improve community services and increase funding for epilepsy.

"Our delegation to the Kids Speak Up! Conference is ready to share their epilepsy journey with elected officials in D.C.," said Brent Herrmann, president & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation Northwest. "The timely nature of their visit to Capitol Hill during Health Reform is appropriate to bring increased awareness about epilepsy to lawmakers."

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in children and affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, more than 300,000 U.S. children under the age of 15 live with epilepsy.  

Epilepsy Foundation Northwest (EFNW) is the principal advocate for the epilepsy community in Oregon and Washington with support to Alaska and Montana.  EFNW helps to ensure people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and works to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy and research. Nearly 63,000 people in Washington and 37,000 people in Oregon are living with epilepsy or seizure related conditions.

SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation Northwest