November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Did you know one in ten Americans have, or will, experience a seizure during their lifetime? Many of us don’t realize the impact brain disorders can have on those around us; causing them to experience seizures in their lives. In a disease diagnosed in well over 100,000 Americans each year, Epilepsy is one of the most common brain disorders leading to repeated seizures. Epilepsy is a medical condition which causes seizures impacting a person’s physical and mental abilities. A person has epilepsy once they’ve experienced two unprovoked seizures and the condition can occur at any age, although it more likely to develop prior to the age of two.

This November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, which aims to bring to light the impacts Epilepsy has on the 65 million people affected by the condition worldwide, along with the 2 million living right here in the United States with the condition.

As a member of MedicAlert’s Emergency Response team, I understand the impact Epilepsy has on everyday Americans and the critical need to help bring more awareness of this condition, to find a cure, and to help fight the negative stigmas associated with it.

Epilepsy Awareness Month aims to educate the public about epilepsy

For most Americans, Epilepsy isn’t commonly understood. Yet, Epilepsy affects more Americans than Autism, Parkinson’s disease, and Cerebral Palsy combined. The increased awareness of Epilepsy, throughout the month of November, helps more of us understand what Epilepsy really is and combats the negative stigmas associated with it. Throughout history, people with Epilepsy were treated completely different, discriminated against as others feared the condition was “contagious”.

Today, with the wealth of knowledge gained on brain disorders, we know Epilepsy isn’t contagious and that many people with the condition can go on to live relatively normal lives.

Bringing awareness of epilepsy isn’t an easy task, considering all the other activities going on throughout the month of November, but I hope you will participate in bringing more awareness to others by learning of the causes, symptoms, and treatments for Epilepsy. By taking the time to learn about Epilepsy, it will give you information to share with those around you, loved ones, friends, and co-workers. There are many websites, including epilepsyfoundation.org, that provide a wealth of information about Epilepsy and offer ways for you to get involved.

As someone who’s worked closely with those affected by Epilepsy, and as part of MedicAlert’s Emergency Response team, I understand how vital it is for those impacted by Epilepsy to attain Medical IDs through a trusted service like MedicAlert. MedicAlert IDs will alert first responders and connect them with our member’s full health information in order to provide for the correct course of treatment. For nonprofits, like MedicAlert Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation, there is an important role to play in bringing more awareness of the condition in order to help educate the public about Epilepsy. This November, I hope you will take the time to help us bring awareness of Epilepsy.

Emergency Response Operator
Ms. Vieira has been an integral part of the MedicAlert team for the past 25 years. Ms. Vieira is an EMT and also trains the elite Emergency Response Specialists as she leads the Foundation’s signature 24/7 emergency response service - communicating with first responders and health professionals on a daily basis to coordinate the effective care and treatment of our members.