President’s Message

From Lacey Kazama Shimabukuro:

Lacey Kazama Shimabukuro representing the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii at the University of Hawaii Volunteer Fair.

What is epilepsy? Three years ago I would have said that it had something to do with seizures. Today, I know that there are different types of seizures and that epilepsy is different for each person. I now know that 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy in their lifetime and that epilepsy is more prevalent than autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.

I did not know enough about epilepsy until my son Jax began having seizures. At 17 months, Jax was diagnosed with epilepsy and I immediately searched for more information online. I contacted the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii and dove into the reading material that was sent to me.

I am grateful to the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii (EFH) for teaching others about epilepsy. When Jax started preschool, the EFH visited his school to provide information about epilepsy and how to recognize and respond to Jax’s types of seizures. This knowledge about epilepsy enabled Jax’s teachers to remain calm and respond appropriately when he had seizures in school. The staff is now prepared to help others in the community as well!

You may already know someone living with epilepsy, but you may not know about their epilepsy. Seizures can happen at any time, and it is important for all of us to learn about seizures and epilepsy, so we will know how to help.

Together we can increase public awareness of epilepsy and help our friends and family be safe and be part of our community. Please call the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii to learn more about epilepsy or to schedule a training session for your school, workplace or community center. You can also visit us on Facebook and Twitter where we share information about epilepsy.