Epilepsy Awareness Day 2016 Largest Turnout Ever

(NewsUSA) – November is Epilepsy Awareness month, and this year’s 4th Annual Epilepsy Awareness Day (EAD) was the largest gathering of epilepsy patients and physicians in the world. Held at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, the 2-day event included a convention with over 90 exhibitors, 24 physician/specialist seminars, a Rick Springfield benefit concert, and a full day at Disneyland for the families. Epilepsy is a brain disorder marked by recurring seizures, or convulsions, and it affects over 2 million Americans, with onset often beginning with children. It is also estimated that as many as one-third of individuals with autism spectrum disorder also have epilepsy. Despite affecting such a large breadth of the population, the National Institute of Health’s estimated research budget for fiscal year 2017 is only $145 million. EAD is an annual event operated by the Irvine-based non-profit foundation, Sofie’s Journey/EAD, now in its fifth year and drawing people from across the globe. “We wanted to create an opportunity to drive epilepsy awareness, with awareness the key to overcoming challenges created by epilepsy,” states Candy Levy, Co-Founder of Sofie’s Journey/EAD. “At our event we bring together patients, physicians, advocates, non-profits, services, and this year we had a large section of the convention facility for people to meet their possible and future service dogs.” Sofie’s Journey began with Sofie Levy, who had her first seizure at 5 years old. After years of pursuing treatments and options, the Levy family was given the opportunity of brain surgery for Sofie. Sofie is now in 11th grade, and is eight years seizure-free. To further focus their passion for epilepsy awareness, and to ensure that others are afforded great epilepsy care, Sofie’s parent’s Candy and Brad Levy created Epilepsy Awareness Day with the first event held on November 7, 2013. “The Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland has become a unique opportunity for patients with epilepsy and their caregivers to interface with non-profit and other groups to openly communicate about their needs and available services,” says neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Mathern. “This is a model meeting that should serve as an example for others around the world.” There are other conventions globally, including the annual American Epilepsy Society convention held in the beginning of December. What separates EAD is that it is not a typical medical or business convention: it is about the patients and their families. “We have learned so much, met many people with similar things like us, but most importantly we learned that we are not alone in this fight with epilepsy. Awareness is spreading like wild, it’s the best,” says Mandy G. from Kansas. “We have been so lucky to work with the UCLA pediatric epilepsy department to help our son, we travel to the west coast every few months for treatment.” Preparations are underway for 2017, with an expanded focus. “The good we are doing is an incredible feeling that goes beyond description, says Brad Levy, Co-Founder. “We are transitioning to a full-time Epilepsy Awareness campaign, with a three-day physical event as the anchor for our efforts. Planned for this year, we will have an updated site, multi-platform social media presence, video campaigns, and working more closely with our medical advisory board and hospitals. Our mission is now a year-long epilepsy awareness campaign.” For more information, visit www.epilepsyawarenessday.org

Local News

Nazareth players celebrate their Class 5A football title with fans and members of the band on Saturday. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Roadrunners win 45-44 shootout for fourth state title

By Jeff Vorva Nazareth Academy’s football season opened in August with a 2-0 win over Kankakee. It closed the season Saturday afternoon with a 45-44 Class 5A state championship win over Peoria at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. And in between was a rollercoaster of wins and losses and a scramble just to make the playoffs.…

reporter EPCHS Inktober

EPCHS art teacher draws something every day In Inktober

A series of drawings from Evergreen Park Community High School art teacher Libby McArthur will grace the walls of the Evergreen Park Public Library through the end of November. The drawings, collectively known as her ‘Inktober’ collection, were made during October. McArthur took part in a worldwide drawing month activity that had specific prompts for…

reporter OLCHS Thanksgiving Food Drive Freshman Academy

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OLCHS students and staff participated in the annual Student Council Thanksgiving food drive. Cans, paper goods and over $1,750 in cash/gift cards were collected on November 21. Participating teachers were DeMatteo, Hennelly, Jepsen, Kallenborn, Kolimas, La Spina, Meyers, Strelow, Vazzana, Watson and Wirtz. Numerous district offices also donated items. The winner of Student Council’s handmade “Turkey Chalice” award was Eric…

regional palos park police cadet food drive 2022

Palos Park Police Cadet food drive underway

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Twins Aiden and Ethan Schilling at last year’s Bingo with Santa. (Photo by Alexandria Shipyor)

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Rich Jensen cuts the ribbon on November 17 at the new location for Pizza Castle. (Photos by Don Pointer)

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Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs—Skinner (left) and Moses—were treated to an early Thanksgiving feast that featured all the trimmings. This annual tradition, now in its ninth year, takes place the day before the holiday. (Photo by Jim Schulz/Brookfield Zoo)

Ring-tailed Lemurs at Brookfield Zoo enjoy 9th annual Thanksgiving feast

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Palos Heights' Thomas Chong tags one of the hundreds of trees being sold by the Palos Lions Club. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

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Nazareth players celebrate their Class 5A football title with fans and members of the band on Saturday. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Roadrunners win 45-44 shootout for fourth state title

By Jeff Vorva Nazareth Academy’s football season opened in August with a 2-0 win over Kankakee. It closed the season Saturday afternoon with a 45-44 Class 5A state championship win over Peoria at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. And in between was a rollercoaster of wins and losses and a scramble just to make the playoffs.…

reporter EPCHS Inktober

EPCHS art teacher draws something every day In Inktober

A series of drawings from Evergreen Park Community High School art teacher Libby McArthur will grace the walls of the Evergreen Park Public Library through the end of November. The drawings, collectively known as her ‘Inktober’ collection, were made during October. McArthur took part in a worldwide drawing month activity that had specific prompts for…

reporter OLCHS Thanksgiving Food Drive Freshman Academy

OLCHS Thanksgiving food drive a success

OLCHS students and staff participated in the annual Student Council Thanksgiving food drive. Cans, paper goods and over $1,750 in cash/gift cards were collected on November 21. Participating teachers were DeMatteo, Hennelly, Jepsen, Kallenborn, Kolimas, La Spina, Meyers, Strelow, Vazzana, Watson and Wirtz. Numerous district offices also donated items. The winner of Student Council’s handmade “Turkey Chalice” award was Eric…

regional palos park police cadet food drive 2022

Palos Park Police Cadet food drive underway

The Palos Park Police Cadet program is in holiday season mode and the program’s annual Holiday Food Drive is well underway. Cadets are looking for donations of non-perishable foods such as canned goods or boxed goods. The cadets will accept donations at the Palos Park Police Department, 8999 W. 123rd Street. Collections will continue through…

Twins Aiden and Ethan Schilling at last year’s Bingo with Santa. (Photo by Alexandria Shipyor)

Orland Township to hold Bingo with Santa

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, don’t think twice about attending Orland Township’s Bingo with Santa! Children and their families are invited to join Santa Claus and Supervisor Paul O’Grady with the Board of Trustees in celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with pizza and a fun game of Holiday Bingo, just for…

Rich Jensen cuts the ribbon on November 17 at the new location for Pizza Castle. (Photos by Don Pointer)

Comings & Goings: Pizza Castle now open in Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong After almost five decades of serving pizzas from a small storefront in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, Pizza Castle co-owner Richard Jensen had an opportunity to move into a bigger space and he jumped at the chance. So, Jensen packed up the family business and made the move a few miles south to…

Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs—Skinner (left) and Moses—were treated to an early Thanksgiving feast that featured all the trimmings. This annual tradition, now in its ninth year, takes place the day before the holiday. (Photo by Jim Schulz/Brookfield Zoo)

Ring-tailed Lemurs at Brookfield Zoo enjoy 9th annual Thanksgiving feast

The annual tradition of Brookfield Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs receiving an early Thanksgiving feast took place today, November 23. Now, in its ninth year, the animal care staff prepared the meal for the primates that featured all the trimmings laid out on a fall-themed table setting. This year, the menu for the lemurs—15-year-old Moses and 12-year-old…

Palos Heights' Thomas Chong tags one of the hundreds of trees being sold by the Palos Lions Club. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Lions trees have arrived and are ready for sale

By Jeff Vorva For more than three decades, the Palos Lions Club has been selling Christmas trees Close to 600 trees arrived at the lot on Harlem Avenue near 127th Street on Saturday. The only difference this year is that unlike in past years, there are no monster-sized trees available. “We can’t get the bigger…

Stickney Mayor Jeff Walik holds up a Veterans Parking Only sign that will be installed at various village locations (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Stickney to designate parking for veterans; will add more police officers

By Carol McGowan The Village of Stickney has approved the installation of parking signs to designate spots for veterans. At the November 15 Village Board meeting, Mayor Jeff Walik revealed the sign and explained why they were going up at various locations in the village. “I was recently at Jewel in the village, and saw…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said other communities can learn from the way Orland Park does business. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

After congressional loss, Pekau ready to keep Orland Park a ‘fantastic town’

By Jeff Vorva In Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau’s first board meeting since his loss to Sean Casten for a congressional seat, he expressed disappointment with the loss but said he was happy he is still running the village. At Monday’s meeting, Pekau said he was not happy with the way the elections turned out…

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