Crozet Resident Carrie Miller is actively arranging publicity and logistics for the Epilepsy Awareness Stroll. The Stroll will take place on November 12 at noon in the UVA Park behind the JAG school near Arlington Blvd. Carrie has a daughter with epilepsy who is four years old and two other special needs children. Carrieâ€˜s remarkable daughter Emmalyn has epilepsy and kidney problems. Such problems mean extended stays at hospitals, missed preschool, difficulty making friends andÂ the loss of financial resources. Especially the epilepsy has been hard on the whole family.
The stress on Carrieâ€™s family corresponds with most studies on parents of children with seizures. Most studies confirm that parents experience major stress and that the disruption in family life is considered much higher than with other common child hood disorders such as asthma or diabetes. Parents are aware of the possibilities of injuries (in a major study of 5000 persons with epilepsy, 83% of those with one or more seizure during the last year reported some kind of injury), academic problemsÂ and a much lower employment rate than the general population. However children whose parents accept epilepsy and do not overprotect do much better in school and in the workplace. The Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia has a summer camp and family fun days to help foster the independence of children with epilepsy. Carrie Miller and her family are a wonderful example.Â Carrieâ€™s motto is â€œbetter a broken arm than a broken heart.â€
*Story courtesy of Suzanne Bischoff, Ph.D., Executive Director – Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia