Epilepsy Foundation: ‘Dare to Understand More about Seizures because Someone You Know Lives with Epilepsy’

With 1 in 26 Americans Developing Seizures During their Lifetime, '#DareTo’ Vision Helps People Living with Epilepsy Break Barriers in Innovation, Education and Discrimination

New Logo Emphasizes Bold Strategy; Public Service Announcements Featuring Rick Harrison from TV’s ‘Pawn Stars’ Premiere for National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LANDOVER, MD – The Epilepsy Foundation launches a new nationwide campaign, brand and logo today, daring the public to help break barriers blocking many people living with seizures from reaching their fullest life potential.

One in 26 of us will develop epilepsy in our lifetime. Nearly 3 million Americans currently live with epilepsy, making it the fourth most common neurological condition in the United States, and more prevalent than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and autism – combined. Thousands of individuals die from seizures every year.

The Epilepsy Foundation’s “#DareTo” campaign challenges the general public to better understand epilepsy, to know how to recognize seizures and to learn proper first aid. For people living with epilepsy, “#DareTo” focuses on improving understanding and management of their seizures, including exploring the best available treatment options. The campaign, and the new logo, underscores the Foundation’s commitment to be bold and aggressive in accelerating change for people living with epilepsy.

“#DareTo” starts during November, National Epilepsy Awareness Month, with a new public service announcement featuring Rick Harrison from TV’s “Pawn Stars.” Harrison, who lived with seizures as a child, is now a national spokesperson for the Foundation and serves on the organization’s national Board of Directors. The PSA will air on the A&E Networks including History, home of “Pawn Stars” and other series created by Harrison.
“I had bad seizures until I was a teenager. I thought I wouldn’t have the chance to grow up. But, I dared to think differently,” says Harrison in the PSA. “My epilepsy taught me to be a fighter. When I said I wanted to make a TV series out of my pawn shop, people thought I was nuts. But, I dared to defy the odds and Pawn Stars was born. If you have epilepsy, dare to live to your fullest potential. The Epilepsy Foundation will help you dare.” 



The Foundation’s new direction includes serving as an unwavering ally for people living with epilepsy. Many face barriers because of underfunding of treatment and therapies, lack of understanding about epilepsy and public fear of seizures.
No current seizure treatment options exist for one third of people living with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation’s Epilepsy Therapy Project is daring researchers and other innovators to discover new therapies for people with little or no seizure control or who live with severe side effects.

“Epilepsy is a spectrum condition and an extremely personalized one. Each case of epilepsy is different,” said Dr. Janice Buelow, Epilepsy Foundation vice president of programs and research. “For the majority of people living with epilepsy, lack of scientific knowledge creates huge barriers. The Foundation is breaking those barriers by ensuring research and new therapies are available in a time frame that matters to people who are suffering from debilitating, and, in many cases, uncontrolled, seizures.”
The #DareTo campaign will include a strong educational component designed to help the public understand that, since epilepsy can develop in someone regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, the condition is relevant in everyone’s lives. #DareTo will also create community strength to support people who are living with seizures.
“Barriers created by public fear and misunderstanding can be just as devastating for people living with epilepsy as the seizures themselves,” said Philip M. Gattone, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “As the father of a child with epilepsy, I saw how fear and lack of knowledge impacted my son when he was growing up, especially in school, but also throughout our community. The Epilepsy Foundation is daring communities today, through our affiliates around the country and our digital platform at epilepsy.com, to provide valuable connections and support to people living with seizures. Our mission includes engaging the larger public to help improve understanding of seizures and proper first aid. We have education programs in schools and for public servants like police and first responders. Parents of children with epilepsy are counting on the Foundation to help improve the lives of their sons and daughters.”

The Foundation will be asking people to adopt their own #DareTo social media message to show how they or their loved ones are supporting the community.

“With our website, epilepsy.com, reaching over 600,000 people around the world monthly and our affiliates reaching people in their own neighborhoods, we are a growing and passionate community,” said Gattone. “With the ‘Dare To’ campaign, our community can show everyone how they are embracing the goal of not letting any barriers stop them from reaching their fullest potential and encourage their friends and family to help the Epilepsy Foundation make a difference for millions of people.”


About Epilepsy

When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy, which affects nearly three million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, four out of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with 48 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsy.com.

About the Epilepsy Foundation's New Logo

This is the first major revision of the Epilepsy Foundation logo since 1998. The logo exemplifies our new brand anatomy. The new flame design represents acceleration and motion. The colors give a nod to the organizational history (red) while also acknowledging the international adoption of purple as the representative color for epilepsy awareness. The new font represents the BOLD and aggressive stance the Foundation is taking to make a difference for people living with epilepsy. The status quo in education, awareness, civil rights, and available therapies must end, and the Foundation is a bold unwavering ally to serve people living with seizures.

“Like” the Epilepsy Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/epilepsyfoundationofamerica and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/epilepsyfdn.

Contact Name: 
Kenneth Lowenberg | Vice President of Communications and Digital Strategy
Contact Phone: 
(301) 918-3773
Contact Email: 

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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