Epilepsy Institute of NC info@eiofnc.org 336-659-8202

EPILEPSY IS NOT JUST A NUMBER

There are a little over seven billion people on the earth.  Out of those seven billion people, sixty-five million have epilepsy.  With that many people having epilepsy around the world, three million of those people live in the United States.  Here is another fact, one out of twenty-six people have epilepsy.  Stop.  Think.  How many people have you talked to today?  How many people did you pass by in the mall or the grocery store?  Think about it, every time you have been shopping or at work, you might have passed by twenty-six people.  One of them might have epilepsy.

There are seizures that can be controlled with medicine, brain surgery, or new procedures.  There are one-third of people with epilepsy that have uncontrollable seizures. (Like Me)   My seizures are caused by scar tissue on the left side of my brain due to a high fiver when I was a baby.  I know the cause of my seizures, but six out of ten people with epilepsy do not know what causes theirs.

Living in the United States, with the modern technology we have, there are still four out of ten people who are getting the wrong treatment for epilepsy.  That number even increases to eight out of ten for developing countries.  We need your help.  More people need to be aware of epilepsy.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There are 150,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed each year in the United States alone.  If there is nothing done to help research find a cure, will that number double worldwide?   After wondering which countries had a population of 300,000 people, I found the Virgin Islands, Barbados, and a few more that are on a list that is on the web site in parenthesis.  (http://www.virtualschoolsandcolleges.eu/index.php/All_countries_by_population).  WOW!

Will it be you or someone you know that one day epilepsy will occur for an unknown cause.  Sorry, I just have to put this into perspective.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.      (http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-facts)

In school we learn about George Washington Carver and peanuts.  Living in North Carolina, every year the “Woolworth Sit-In” is celebrated.  I want to talk about the people that had and are still overcoming  epilepsy.  These people that are still proving that epilepsy doesn’t bring them down.

Growing up in the ’80’s and ’90’s, I loved listening to Prince.  Prince had seizures as growing up.  He outgrew them.  Again in the ’80’s and 90’s, Lethal Weapon was big. Danny Glover has had seizures since he was a child.  He has warning signs before he goes into the seizure.  He can ask for help if he thinks he needs it.  I’ve mentioned two people in entertainment.  Three former football players have epilepsy, Jason Snelling, Tiki and Ronde Barber.  We can’t forget the former coach of the University of Minnesota, Jerry Kill. (http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/celebrities-epilepsy#promoSlide)

Last but not least, Florence Griffith Joyner, “Flo Jo”.  I remember watching her carry our flag in the Olympics after she won gold and breaking theolympic record.  (the record still stands) Other than holding the record, she is known for her long fingernails.  Florence Joyner passed away in 1988.  The coroner couldn’t decide if there was any other reason for cause of death, but asphyxiation due to epilepsy.  (http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/23/sports/sp-35391)  Very few people know that epilepsy can kill you in your sleep.

These few people that I mentioned shouldn’t just be remembered in February.  Flo Jo fought and the others are still fighting epilepsy everyday!  There is 1 out of 26 people with epilepsy.  I’m sure you know 26 people.  Does one of them have epilepsy?

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