CHICAGO, IL (July 2023) – CURE Epilepsy celebrates 25th anniversary as the leading nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy through research with a public service announcement (PSA) set to air on ESPN this summer.
The PSA features photos and video footage of fifteen people living with epilepsy or who have tragically lost their lives to the disorder. Epilepsy affects 3.4 million Americans – more people than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) combined – yet receives fewer federal dollars per patient than each of these. The intent of the thirty-second spot is to highlight the heterogeneity of epilepsy, inspire urgency to advance science, and raise awareness of CURE Epilepsy by showing real people impacted by this common neurological disorder.
One of the people featured in the PSA, thirteen-year-old Ella, was diagnosed with epileptic spasms just days after her first birthday. Ella is a happy and sweet girl who, despite all her seizures, medications, and hospital visits, lives in the moment and always has a smile on her face. After her diagnosis, Ella’s family created Ella’s Race to CURE Epilepsy to raise money in support of finding a cure for other kids like her. As of 2023, the race has raised almost $500,000 for epilepsy research. “One of the biggest obstacles in fundraising for epilepsy research is the lack of awareness of epilepsy itself. I am thrilled to be part of this PSA that helps to address this root cause,” said Ella’s mom, Shalee Cunneen.
Another featured CURE Epilepsy community member, Michael, is a baker whose epilepsy inspired his journey into starting his own business and food justice advocacy work. After receiving his epilepsy diagnosis, Michael was instructed to limit his physical activity. Michael adapted to his circumstances, going from gymnastics and swimming, to baking and advocating. He is working to make the world better one dessert at a time by passing out his cupcakes at homeless shelters and domestic abuse shelters, and he partners with other nonprofits focused on addressing food inequity.
CURE Epilepsy hopes that by sharing personal stories of epilepsy with a broad TV audience, it can raise the profile of this devastating and often misunderstood disorder, increasing federal research dollars and inspiring more individual contributions towards medical research.
CURE Epilepsy invites you to visit our website and get to know more about the research we help fund to create a world without seizures. CURE Epilepsy is laser-focused on finding a cure for epilepsy by promoting and funding patient-focused research. We offer educational programs such as our Seizing Life podcast, CURE Epilepsy CARES (Conversations Around Research in Epilepsy & Seizures), and webinars where people in the epilepsy community can access information to help them advocate for themselves and improve their outcomes.
As we celebrate our 25th year, we look forward to the cutting-edge advancements to come in the next 25. To learn more, please visit us at CUREepilepsy.org or contact us at info@CUREepilepsy.org. You can also follow us on Facebook at @CUREforEpilepsy, and Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at @CUREepilepsy.
About CURE Epilepsy: CURE Epilepsy’s mission is to find a cure for epilepsy by promoting and funding patient-focused research. Since its inception 25 years ago, CURE Epilepsy has raised over $90 million to advance its goal of no seizures and no side effects. To date, CURE Epilepsy has funded more than 285 cutting-edge research projects in 18 countries around the world. As the nonprofit leader in epilepsy research, CURE Epilepsy is unwavering in its commitment to fund scientific study and accelerate research to achieve our vision – a world without epilepsy.