A new specialty license plate is now available to residents of Alabama who want to show their support of children with pediatric epilepsy.
In a collaboration between the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Children’s of Alabama and Epilepsy Foundation Alabama, the Help End Epilepsy tag will provide valuable funding for patient care, education, research and specialized physician training for the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Children’s of Alabama.
For the state of Alabama to produce the specialty tag, a minimum requirement of 1,000 commitments must be met. Thanks to a contribution from a generous donor to Children’s, the first 1,000 supporters to request the Help End Epilepsy specialty tag will receive the tag-free of additional charge for the first year. Supporters will still be responsible for their regular motor vehicle registration taxes and fees.
After the first 1,000 commitments are met, supporters may purchase the Help End Epilepsy tag for $50 at any Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles office. Of that amount, $41.25 will go to the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Children’s. The program currently provides care for more than 5,000 children in Alabama, using the latest technologies and state of the art facilities to diagnose and treat seizures.
Epilepsy, the most common serious brain disorder worldwide, is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 54,000 people in Alabama are living with epilepsy and seizures, including more than 7,500 children. Over a lifetime, one in 10 people will have a seizure, and one in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy.
“We are so excited that we were able to raise more than $65,000 from participants, teams and event sponsors that will be used to mobilize the community to be part of the fight to END EPILEPSY®,” said Sara Franklin, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama. “The Walk to END EPILEPSY is the only Walk to END EPILEPSY in Alabama and serves as our largest fundraiser of the year. This annual event strengthens our current efforts and generates funding to help the 54,000 families affected by epilepsy and seizures in Alabama.”
The Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama held the Walk to END EPILEPSY® in Birmingham on November 2, 2019, at Railroad Park. The Walk to END EPILEPSY brought together the community to affect change through care, advocacy, research, and education. More than 700 people attended the event to support the Epilepsy Foundation’s fundraising efforts and help raise awareness about epilepsy.
Sara Franklin had her world shaken in August 2018 — literally.
The Hoover native and new mother was asleep in her home in the Kirkman Preserve community when she, for the first time in her life, experienced what is known as a tonic clonic seizure, sometimes called a grand mal seizure.
Her husband, Drew, woke up to her convulsing in the middle of the night and immediately called 911. She was unconscious during the seizure, which lasted 5 to 10 minutes, and Hoover paramedics recommended she go to the emergency room.
Doctors determined it was probably a one-time event, but recommended she see a neurologist for further testing. An MRI and electroencephalogram (EEG) found nothing alarming, but in November, Franklin experienced some partial seizures, where she had a blank stare, laughed and didn’t respond for about 30 seconds.
It was then that doctors determined she has epilepsy, a neurological disorder associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The diagnosis changed her life and her career path.
Thanks for everyone who joined us for the Walk to END EPILEPSY on Saturday, November 2 at Railroad Park in Birmingham. We walk for the more than 54,000 families affected by epilepsy in Alabama. Funds raised from the Walk support our mission in Alabama. Participating in the Walk is a powerful way to be part of the fight to End Epilepsy, support programs and inspire others to join you. Because you walk, give and ask others to give, we are able to continue to offer vital programs and services and build our community through awareness and advocacy.