Foundation to Serve More than 38,000 People Living with Epilepsy in the CountyFoundation to Serve More than 38,000 People Living with Epilepsy in the County
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — The Epilepsy Foundation is strengthening its impact in Southern California with the creation of a new chapter in Orange County with dedicated staff to serve the more than 38,000 people with epilepsy in the county. The expansion adds to the Foundation’s existing presence in Southern California increasing the programs, services and support to the region for people living with epilepsy and their families.
“Bolstering our services beyond the greater Los Angeles region is an exciting step forward for the Foundation,” said Steven Baum, chief operating officer, The Cypress Funds, LLC. (Los Angeles), and a member of the national Board of Directors of the Epilepsy Foundation. “Orange County is poised to build on the tremendous momentum of the past decades created by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. All of us at the Epilepsy Foundation believe our community of people with epilepsy, their families, and the general public will be better served with the creation of this new chapter.”
Epilepsy Foundation Orange County is led by Executive Director Shannon Abdul-Wahab, a person with epilepsy, mother of three and aunt to a 14-year-old boy with epilepsy. Abdul-Wahab has been a part of the Epilepsy Foundation for the past seven years, serving on the national Board of Directors and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Board of Trustees. While on the Greater Los Angeles chapter board, she co-chaired the annual Walk to END EPILEPSY® Los Angeles and helped lead the charge to take the Walk nationwide.
“I am thrilled to be joining the staff of the Epilepsy Foundation and honored to have the opportunity to lead the Orange County chapter,” said Abdul-Wahab. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with Greater Los Angeles to continue the Foundation’s efforts to bring more quality programs, services, education, and research to Orange County. And I hope to work with other epilepsy-focused organizations in the area to advocate on behalf of individuals and families affected by epilepsy in our community.”
Epilepsy is a serious brain disorder that affects more than 38,000 people in Orange County. Over a lifetime, 1 in 10 people will have a seizure, and 1 in 26 will develop epilepsy. Those most severely affected by epilepsy may experience hundreds of seizures a day, struggle with daily tasks and quality of life, and are at a significantly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
Epilepsy Foundation Orange County provides a variety of programs and services throughout the county at no cost, including:
- 24/7 Helpline
- Referrals to specialty care
- Education, as well as Seizure Recognition & First Aid Trainings
- Supportive care for families, including the Kids Crew designed to give children living with epilepsy and their siblings and friends a way to raise awareness, share experiences, and participate in activities
- Advocacy, including Teens Speak Up!
- Resources, such as support groups, My Seizure Diary, SUDEP Institute, and Wellness Institute
- Fundraising events, such as the Walk to END EPILEPSY®
- Care & Cure Institute
The Orange County chapter will host the third annual Care & Cure Gala to END EPILEPSY® in Orange County on October 5 at The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. This year’s Care & Cure honoree is Orange County Business Council President and Chief Executive Officer, Lucy Dunn, who has a personal connection to epilepsy. For years, Care & Cure has funded the training of pediatric epilepsy specialists in both Orange and Los Angeles Counties, including Children’s Hospital Orange County and UC Irvine. For more information about the Orange County Care & Cure Gala, please visit occareandcure.org.
For more information about Epilepsy Foundation Orange County, please visit epilepsyorangecounty.org or call 657-315-4100.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation Orange County
As the local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation Orange County serves 38,280 people living with epilepsy in the county. The Foundation is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY® by supporting and mobilizing the epilepsy community through educational activities, direct services, advocacy, as well as research to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. The Foundation also seeks to educate the general public to better understand epilepsy and seizure disorders, including knowing proper seizure first aid. For more information, please visit epilepsyorangecounty.org. Follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram.
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