Stroll in the Park for Epilepsy brings awareness to community

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hundreds took steps to find help, hope and support for families impacted every day by epilepsy during the Stroll in the Park for Epilepsy event at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls.

Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological problem, impacting around three million people in the United States.

“It's nice to not feel alone, to see other families going through the same situation that we are,” said Tiana, a mom who took part in the stroll.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin said knowing you're not alone is one of its main messages at the 5k stroll.

“You know, I think one of the major reason why we're so thrilled that we have such a great success today is that there are all of these people that are here together that support anyone that has epilepsy,” said Lou Kelsey, director of client services at the Epilepsy Foundation. “One of the major things that we work with is individuals that we work with is that you are not alone, you are not alone there are other people.”

Kelsey said another goal of the epilepsy walk is to spread the word on what the disorder is.

“We teach people and staff members and classmates that epilepsy isn't something to be afraid of. It is something that you deal with. It is something that you can't see. Nobody knows that someone has epilepsy and seizures unless they have one in front of them and so to create something and understanding other than fear and something that is more of the myth of seizures is what our big goal is,” said Kelsey.

And the families of those diagnosed with epilepsy say they truly appreciate the effort to get the word out as well as the support from the community.

“It really does mean a lot to us to show you care even if you're involved with it or not to the point of your family member, it helps the local community so much with all that knowledge,” said Todd, a father who walked in the event with his family.

“It was really a challenge when he was diagnosed trying to get his meds right but right now he's controlled he hasn't had a seizure in two and a half years and we have a huge support system being him,” said participant and mother Heather Steinke.

“I think it has a really big impact and it's great to see that there's a bunch of people out for it. It's really great,” said Catalyna Woodard.

WEAU was a proud sponsor of the event.

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