Each year 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with epilepsy. Those living with epilepsy are at a great risk every day from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. Research and development constantly lead to improved treatment and may one day bring about a cure. Without philanthropic donations and campaigns, though, it’s difficult to continue this vital progress. Fortunately, there are generous donors willing to make a difference.
It’s important to understand the impact this condition has on those who live with it every day, as well as how to contribute to the search for a cure.
Impact of Epilepsy
Seizures can manifest in a variety of ways. During a seizure, abnormal electrical activity starts in the brain and causes neurological symptoms, which range from shaking or stiffening limbs, twitching muscles, unfocused staring and inability to talk. There are two forms of seizures, focal and generalized.
Focal seizures affect a small area of the brain and the person remains conscious. It could resemble an involuntary arm or leg twitch. On the other hand, generalized seizures involve the majority of the brain and often result in convulsions and loss of consciousness. After a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, the person may feel confused, sleepy, disoriented or exhibit violent behavior. This stage lasts several hours up to several days. Those experiencing generalized seizures may bite their tongue or lose bladder control.
Importance of Research Funding
Raising awareness of the number of people impacted and progress made through research and development helps people understand where their donations go. Research reveals more insight about the treatments, causes and potential cures for epilepsy. However, a permanent solution is needed for the 3 million people impacted by the condition, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. The Foundation is joined by private organizations, such as the Ravichandran Foundation based in Boston, in raising funds to support research efforts.
Government funding is only part of the solution and private philanthropists become even more important in times of political turmoil.
Why People Give
Without donations, much of the research could not happen. According to Hari Ravichandran, a leading epilepsy research philanthropist, “Our goal is to make contributions that also leave a legacy of positive social impact. I can’t think of a better way to do that, than by supporting the efforts of young researchers and their mission to find a cure for epilepsy.”