Epilepsy Awareness Month Begins Now: Start Your Revolution!

ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, global biopharmaceutical company UCB, Inc. is enlisting the help of its Epilepsy Advocates to "start a revolution," by inspiring people impacted by epilepsy to speak out about the condition.  As part of this effort, UCB will roll out a series of initiatives, including a nationwide grassroots campaign called "Army of Advocates" and two new Epilepsy Advocate Radio shows featuring a representative from HealthyWomen -- the nation's leading independent health information network for women -- to raise awareness about epilepsy, which affects three million people in the U.S. alone.  

"By 'starting a revolution,' individuals within the epilepsy community should be empowered to share the challenges and triumphs they have experienced with epilepsy with the hope of changing the way the condition is perceived," said Sue Curro, Vice President, UCB Patient Solutions.  "Epilepsy has historically been a misunderstood and stigmatized condition, for which there is currently no cure.  It is UCB's mission to educate the broader population on the impacts of epilepsy, and Epilepsy Awareness Month is a great time to motivate and encourage the community to come together through grassroots efforts and social media to spread the word."

Throughout the month, UCB will deploy its "Army of Advocates," a community of more than 60 Epilepsy Advocates located across the country who champion epilepsy awareness and encourage those living with epilepsy to do the same.  The Advocates will spend time speaking with local and national media, as well as their friends on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness.  Here is a sampling of Advocates who will be available to share their personal stories:

  • Andrea H. from California has had a personal uphill battle with epilepsy but uses her experience as an advocacy platform.  As the co-founder of a coalition for healthcare reform, she interfaces regularly with local and state policy makers.
  • LaKeisha P. from Georgia is a mother, student and youth minister who takes pride in never having given up.  She has taken control of her life by educating others about epilepsy and helping those with disabilities, and her determination is infectious.
  • Steve M. from Ohio has been living with epilepsy for more than 20 years.  Through his work with a local radio show about epilepsy, he aims to build an understanding of life with the condition.  

Epilepsy Advocate Radio, an Internet radio show hosted on EpilepsyAdvocate.com, will feature an interview with Elizabeth Battaglino in honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month.  Battaglino will discuss how she started a revolution to raise awareness about epilepsy from her post as executive director of HealthyWomen.  Additionally, long-time Epilepsy Advocate Radio host Chris Maxwell will take a turn in the guest chair, sharing his experiences and favorite memories of hosting the show with Battaglino.

UCB will also collaborate with the network to spotlight epilepsy among the millions who depend on HealthyWomen for answers to pressing and personal healthcare questions. Visit www.healthywomen.org for Battaglino's personal thoughts on epilepsy, and watch out for a guest blog post from an Epilepsy Advocate on the power of social media for starting a personal revolution.  

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide and three million people in the U.S. -- making it as common as breast cancer.  Anyone can develop epilepsy; it occurs across all ages, races and genders.  Uncontrolled seizures and medication side effects pose challenges to independent living, learning and employment, so the goal of epilepsy treatment is seizure freedom with minimal side effects.  More than 1 million patients in the U.S. continue to have seizures despite initial therapy, and more than 800,000 patients in the U.S. continue to have seizures despite treatment with two or more therapies.  New medications and treatments give hope to those living with uncontrolled seizures.

About Epilepsy Advocate™

Created by UCB in 2006, the Epilepsy Advocate™ program offers opportunities to learn more about epilepsy and how to manage the condition.  Epilepsy Advocates are people living with epilepsy and caregivers who share their success stories with a goal of inspiring individuals in the epilepsy community to seek the best possible care and make positive changes in their lives.  

To date, over 15,000 people impacted by epilepsy have connected with Epilepsy Advocates at more than 300 live programs across the U.S.  Additionally, EpilepsyAdvocate.com and Facebook.com/EpilepsyAdvocate offer a wide variety of resources, including an engaging online radio program and motivational videos, for anyone looking for more information about epilepsy.  Epilepsy Advocate magazine is also widely read in the epilepsy community, with a readership of 100,000.  Request a free subscription.  

Epilepsy Advocate™ is a trademark of the UCB group of companies.

About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb-usa.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8,500 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2010. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

Further Information
Andrea Levin, Senior Manager, Communications & PR, CNS, UCB, Inc.
T:  770.970.8352 / E: [email protected]