Epilepsy Foundation to Bring Walk to END EPILEPSY® to South Dakota

Funding to Support Plans for Chapter in the Region to Serve 9,000 People Living with Epilepsy and their Families

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Epilepsy Foundation announced today it is bringing the nationwide Walk to END EPILEPSY® to the Great Life Performance Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on June 22. The Walk to END EPILEPSY draws the community together to affect change through care, advocacy, research and education. The Walk will support the Foundation’s efforts to establish a chapter in South Dakota to serve the 9,000 people living with epilepsy and their families in the state.

“We are excited to bring the Walk to END EPILEPSY to South Dakota to engage and mobilize the community to be part of the fight to END EPILEPSY®,” said Vicki Kopplin, senior director of Chapter Operations at the Epilepsy Foundation. “As the first and only Walk to END EPILEPSY in this region, this premier event will strengthen our current efforts and generate funding to create a presence in Sioux Falls, so we can provide education and much-needed services to families affected by epilepsy and seizures in South Dakota communities.”

Over a lifetime, 1 in 10 people will have a seizure, and 1 in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy. There are more people living with epilepsy than with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, combined. Yet, epilepsy receives one-tenth the research funding than any one of those disorders.

Everyone who participates in the Walk to END EPILEPSY — by leading a team, making a donation, sponsoring a person with epilepsy or volunteering — will help fund the formation of the new South Dakota chapter, which has the following priorities for 2019/2020:

  1. Creation of a chapter advisory board
  2. Seizure Safe Schools legislation in the state
  3. Teens Speak Up! program for teenagers with epilepsy
  4. Kids Crew program for children up to the age of 14, which is already up and running in Sioux Falls

“The South Dakota chapter will become a resource, a safe haven, and a source of strength for those living with, and affected by, epilepsy,” said Tom Cota, Advisory Board Chair, whose wife and 4-year-old son both have epilepsy. “Thank you to all of our supporters; this would not be possible without you.”

The Walk to END EPILEPSY in Sioux Falls and the formation of the new chapter is currently being led by the Epilepsy Foundation of Nebraska until local funding is well established. To register for the Walk or to make a donation, go to www.walktoendepilepsy.org/siouxfalls.

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Foundation is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY®. With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding $65 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,076 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 17 years, in partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 500,000 school and community personnel in how to recognize seizures and administer seizure first aid. The Foundation has also assisted more than 108,000 people through its 24/7 Helpline in the past five years, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Contact Name: 
Jackie Aker
Contact Phone: 
(310) 846-9272
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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