Newsweek Cover Story: The Mystery of Epilepsy, Why We Must Find a Cure
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The toll of epilepsy has been overlooked - and the research underfunded - for too long.
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The cover story of this week’s Newsweek magazine is “The Mystery of Epilepsy, Why We Must Find a Cure.” Our Communications staff pitched an epilepsy story to Newsweek several months ago and have served as an information source as the articles were developed. Sandy Finucane also served as a resource in the story development.
From an awareness standpoint, the article comes at a most opportune time. Two weeks ago we had the largest number of affiliates ever turn out for the Public Policy Institute and Kids Speak Up program. Almost 300 people took the epilepsy message to Capitol Hill. A key part of our message was the importance of increasing funding for the epilepsy programs at NIH, CDC and HRSA, including at least a 10 percent increase in funding for research at NIH. Members of Congress and their staff heard clearly from our advocates about the need to redouble our efforts to find a cure for epilepsy through research based on the benchmarks from the 2007 Conference on the Cure for Epilepsy. Members and staff were quick to remind us that funding is very tight; as such, it is vital that we demonstrate the importance and value of research and the compelling stories in the Newsweek articles reinforces the personal stories our families told on Capitol Hill and makes a strong case to support research seeking improved treatments and a cure for epilepsy.
Awareness generated by the Newsweek articles is also an excellent opportunity for you to highlight your affiliates’ commitment to finding a cure in your communication and fund raising efforts. As part of the Epilepsy Foundation, you are the largest non-government source of epilepsy research seeking a cure. You support programs addressing the spectrum of research from bringing the best young investigators into epilepsy research, to targeting specific research areas such as pediatrics, to late stage translational research which takes breakthroughs in the lab and develops new treatments for people with epilepsy.