WASHINGTON, April 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation announced today that thousands of people have assembled at the Washington Monument grounds this morning for a three-mile walk in support of those who face the challenges of living with epilepsy and seizures, and to drive funding that will accelerate therapeutic advancement and grow awareness of this potentially life-threatening disease. With a pre-walk rally at 8:30 a.m., the walk kicks off at 9:00 a.m. and post-walk festivities run through noon today.
Actor Greg Grunberg of the television series Heroes and his son Jake; Geoffrey Pope, former New York Giants cornerback; and Tony Coelho, former U.S. Congressman from California and primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, are among those supporting the walk, and can speak personally based on their experiences with epilepsy.
During the walk, a number of participants will be tweeting updates and stories, including Greg Grunberg, @GregGrunberg and the Epilepsy Foundation @EpilepsyFDN. People with epilepsy are invited to join the conversation. Photos and information on the event also will be available on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EpilepsyFoundationofAmerica.
"We are grateful for the extraordinary support we are receiving from families, physicians, researchers, government and industry today in Washington, D.C.," said Philip M. Gattone, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "The Epilepsy Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people with epilepsy and seizures by finding new therapies for this potentially life-threatening and broad-spread condition. Seizures and the diagnosis of epilepsy can affect anyone, and is now known to occur with traumatic brain injury, autism, Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders, as well as for returning veterans of war. The Epilepsy Foundation has contributed to the advancement of more than 40 seizure management therapies, some of which are now available. Yet, there's still much to accomplish when one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures and many more live with unacceptable side effects from their medications."More than 2 million people in the U.S., including 80,000 people in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, are living with epilepsy and seizures. One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy during their lifetimes. Epilepsy—a medical condition characterized by recurring seizures—can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. To learn more about the walk or contribute to a team, please visit: www.walkforepilepsy.org. About Epilepsy When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy, which affects nearly three million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, 30 to 40 percent of people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.