For people whose family members have epilepsy, every day is about epilepsy awareness. But November’s Epilepsy Awareness Month is when the epilepsy community comes together to promote awareness to the general public. This year’s campaign is to ensure everyone knows that epilepsy is from the brain. The brain is also the source of solutions for epilepsy and the challenges of living with epilepsy.
It may surprise some to hear that more than 154,000 people in central and south Texas have epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation is seeing an increasing demand for its services from the community. Kimberly Martin, LVN, Assistant Director, says the Foundation provided 89,344 services to 20,833 people during the past year.
When people call the Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas, they may be in danger of falling and need a helmet, or they may need a doctor referral or someone to talk to. The Epilepsy Foundation has answers to questions people with epilepsy commonly have and more. Whether it is seizure clinics for the uninsured, community education or helmets, the Foundation provides services to people in 79 counties that include San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Uvalde and Harlingen.
Charles Szabo, MD, is an epileptologist practicing at UT Health San Antonio and Co-Director for the South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.
“I have grown to rely on the Epilepsy Foundation’s educational programs, their outreach to underserved communities in central and south Texas, and psychosocial and legal support they provide to my patients and, more broadly, to all people with epilepsy and their caregivers,” he says.
Some patients can achieve seizure control with anti-seizure medications. Other patients can benefit from specialty care through accredited epilepsy centers like UT Health San Antonio that are engaged in medication trials, dietary interventions and surgical treatments for epilepsy.
“Regardless of the level of care each person requires, the programs and support the Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas broadly complements and reinforces the medical community’s care for people with epilepsy,” Dr. Szabo says.
Families of people with epilepsy face daunting annual medical expenses for doctor visits, medications and diagnostic tests. The Epilepsy Foundation helps people overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy by providing services, such as support groups, mental health counseling and youth programs, to help improve lives.
Because many people with epilepsy have low or no incomes, the Epilepsy Foundation provides its services at low or no charge to make it easy for individuals and families to participate. Fundraising events make it possible for the Foundation to provide its services all year long. To view upcoming events, visit EFCST.org and select “Events.”
The Epilepsy Foundation Central & South Texas was founded in 1993 by Sindi Rosales, a San Antonio area mom, whose daughter, Jessica, has epilepsy. Its mission is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures and save lives. To find out more about this nonprofit organization, visit EFCST.org or call 210-653-5353.