CURE Founder, Susan Axelrod Speaks Out about Epilepsy on TODAY Show
New York, NY, Thursday, December 13, 2007 -- Susan Axelrod, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) founding member and president, appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show this morning. Axelrod was interviewed by TODAY Show co-anchor, Meredith Vieira, along with three-time NFL Pro Bowler and TODAY correspondent, Tiki Barber, and NBC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman.
Axelrod discussed the need to increase awareness and research for epilepsy. Over one-third of epilepsy patients have seizures that cannot be controlled with medication. Over 3 million people suffer from epilepsy in the United States—more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Yet historically, public and private funding of epilepsy research pales in comparison to funding for other neurological diseases, many of which affect far fewer patients.
“What’s exciting is that we’ve changed the dialogue in the epilepsy research community,” Axelrod stated. Scientists are starting to look at what are the root causes, what are the mechanisms, who’s at risk, and could we even maybe prevent epilepsy.”
Tiki Barber, for the first time, spoke publicly about his son A.J., who suffers from epilepsy. Barber said, “Epilepsy affects such a wide range of people in different circumstances and it’s something that awareness needs to be raised about.”
Axelrod and two other mothers of children with epilepsy launched CURE in 1998 to increase awareness of and research for epilepsy. Axelrod was motivated by her daughter, Lauren’s struggle with intractable epilepsy. Her efforts have helped CURE raise more than $8 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure.
TODAY also showed clips of videos produced by CURE which document, with personal stories, the devastating effects epilepsy has on children and their families. These videos educate and raise awareness about the struggles of people with uncontrolled seizures.
The TODAY Show is broadcast live on NBC stations from 7-10 am EST. It is America’s most watched morning show. To watch TODAY’s segment on epilepsy, go to http://today.msnbc.msn.com, and scroll through the “Video from TODAY” section. Click on “Understanding Epilepsy.”