THE PROBLEM 

Epilepsy Research Funding is less than

1/2 of 1% of the the $30 Billion spent on

Medical Research per year in the US.

Yet, it affects nearly 1 in 26 people. 

I want to change that. (please keep reading below)

BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION

My name is Michael Antenora and I am a husband, father and Architect in Austin, Texas. As many of my friends know, my connection to epilepsy is through my oldest daughter Sophia who was diagnosed with Epilepsy at age seven.  Sophia is now nearly fourteen now, and her particular form of epilepsy is controlled well with medicine, diet, exercise and rest. Her therapy and medicines were the result of research that had come before now and the skill of her doctors. They were truly a blessing. However, many other people afflicted with this disease are not so fortunate. For many others with epilepsy and seizure disorders, it can be debilitating and sometimes even fatal.

 

Epilepsy is a disease that is more common than one might think, but is often not talked about.  As you can see from the statistics listed to the right, it is a very common ailment, but does not receive a commensurate amount of funding for research as other better-known diseases.  I would like to change that.

Sophia (13, right) and her two younger sisters Olivia (11) and Elena (9), about ready to compete in thier first triathalon.

I would like to see more research conducted to try to find a cure and better therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and those that are faced with it. This research requires funding. I am on a personal quest to raise funds for this purpose, and I am asking for your help and support.

 

WHY SWIMMING FOR THE CAUSE?

 

There are two reasons. First, I am an avid swimmer and it is something that I already have built into my daily life. I have a place to do it and all of the necessary skills and equipment. However, coincidentally, swimming and other smooth muscle forms of exercise happen to be very therapeutic in the treatment of epilepsy. So, it seemed like a natural fit.

 

During the month of October 2014, I have made a commitment to swim every day (rain or shine) for a mile and probably more.  My goal is to swim between 30 to 50 miles over the 31 days of October. I am reaching out to friends, colleagues and business associates to ask for sponsorship for this effort. The sponsorship structure will be just like a walk-a-thon, except here you can sponsor me per meter, per lap, per mile or with a fixed one-time donation. There are options for individual, family and corporate sponsorships. 

 

Please know that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the Epilepsy Foundation of America. I will personally never receive any of the funds. Further, your donations are 100% tax deductible.

 

On the “Donate” page, you can make your pledge online or, if you prefer, you can download a hard copy pledge form and send it to me via email or fax.  On that form please indicate the method of your donation and provide  the requested contact information to reach you. At the end of October, I will tally my results, contact all of the sponsors and collect the donations.

 

On this website I you can track my progress towards these efforts and, if you choose to allow me, I will list you or your company as contributor to this cause.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me directly via email or phone. The contact information is listed in the contact section of this website.

 

I sincerely appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you.

 

SOME BASIC FACTS ABOUT EPILEPSY AND SEIZURE DISORDERS

According to the website Epilepsy.com;

 

  • Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease combined.

  • In America, Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes as many lives.

  • Almost 500 new cases of Epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States.

  • Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.

  • One in 26 people will develop Epilepsy in their lifetime.

  • One in 10 people will suffer a seizure in their lifetime.

  • This year another 200,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Epilepsy.

  • Each year over 125,000 to 150,000 are newly diagnosed with Epilepsy.

  • 30% of those diagnosed are children.

  • Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.

  • For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, Epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.

  • In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Epilepsy, the cause is unknown.

  • In over 30% of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment.

  • Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death.

  • Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes.

  • The mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population.

  • Risk of sudden death among those with Epilepsy is twenty-four times greater.

  • Epilepsy results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production.

  • Historically, epilepsy research has been under-funded.  Each year NIH spends $30 billion of medical research, but just ½ of 1% is spent on epilepsy.

  • The Federal government spends much less on Epilepsy research compared to other diseases, many which affect fewer people.