Epilepsy Foundation to Host its Annual Orange County Care & Cure Benefit to END EPILEPSY® Virtually

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Proceeds Will Fund Fellowship for Pediatric Epileptologist at CHOC

ORANGE, Calif. — The Epilepsy Foundation is hosting its fourth Annual Care & Cure Benefit Gala on September 26 at 6 p.m. This year’s event, which will be held as a virtual live gala and auction, will honor Dr. John Baird, principal partner, Velocity Group, and a grandfather of a child with epilepsy. Money raised will fund and endow the training of new pediatric epilepsy specialists at Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC).

“My work with the Epilepsy Foundation, both nationally and locally with the Orange County chapter, is extremely rewarding and a partnership that I hope continues for a very long time,” said Dr. Baird.

Epilepsy is a complex spectrum of brain disorders with many different causes, and its impact on children and their families can be devastating and perilous. Close to half a million children in the U.S. suffer from epilepsy, and a staggering 30% of them experience uncontrolled seizures. In Orange County, there are approximately 5,500 children with epilepsy. Children are the most vulnerable to the detrimental effects of epilepsy. If seizure intervention is not secured at an early age for these children, their long-term cognitive and physical development can be compromised, indefinitely stunting their long-term potential.

“The work we do is vital because 50% of epilepsy cases begin in infancy, childhood or adolescence,” said Shannon Abdul-Wahab, executive director, Epilepsy Foundation Orange County, and Care & Cure co-chair. “Although, our gala looks a little different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our efforts continue, so that we can ensure care and give hope for cures to children and their families in Orange County.”

This year’s virtual live gala and auction will include:

  • Honoree presentation to Dr. John Baird
  • Opportunity drawing for a Zoom meet and greet with Disney Channel Star Bizaardvark, and social media sensation Ethan Wacker
  • Special musical performance by The Freese/DEVO Allstars; Josh Freese of DEVO is the parent of a child with epilepsy
  • Silent & Live Auctions, including a three-night stay for four at Brannan Cottage Inn in Calistoga; painting by celebrity artist and OC resident, Chris Gwaltney; four executive coaching sessions with premier executive coach and honoree, Dr. John Baird; and naming rights to the newly established Epilepsy Foundation Orange County Scholarship Fund

Over the past 14 years, Care & Cure has funded the specialty training of 30 fellows at epilepsy centers across Southern California, including UCI College of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Orange County. By training these new epilepsy specialists, wait times to see a specialist have dramatically reduced, resulting in improved outcomes for children.

For more information about the Orange County Care & Cure Benefit or to purchase tickets, please visit careandcure.org/oc.

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
With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. 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 $68.7 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,091 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 18 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 123,470 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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