November 2021: Epilepsy Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Epilepsy Awareness Month is a nationwide effort in November of the Epilepsy Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan to raise awareness about and change the conversation around epilepsy, seizures, and side effects, as well as to improve and save lives through care, advocacy, research and new therapies, and public health and education; and,

 

WHEREAS, epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent and unprovoked seizures that can affect anyone, at any age, any time; and,

 

WHEREAS, epilepsy is a spectrum disease comprised of many diagnoses and experiences and includes a wide range of seizure types, comorbidities, control, severity, and outcomes varying from person-to-person; and,

 

WHEREAS, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder; approximately 3.4 million people in the U.S., including 108,900 in Michigan, live with active epilepsy; and,

 

WHEREAS, more than 324,000 Hispanic Americans and more than 578,000 Black, non-Hispanic Americans live with epilepsy in the U.S.; and,

 

WHEREAS, people with epilepsy need access to affordable, comprehensive, physician-directed and person-centered healthcare; and,

 

WHEREAS, 470,000 children live with epilepsy in the U.S., including 13,600 children in Michigan, and greater education and improved access to care is needed in schools, which can be accomplished by passing Seizure Safe Schools legislation nationwide; and,

 

WHEREAS, while protections exist in the Americans with Disabilities Act and related civil rights laws, people with epilepsy still encounter discrimination in areas including employment, education, and housing; and,

 

WHEREAS, through action together on Epilepsy Awareness Month and during other awareness initiatives, including International Epilepsy Day, Epilepsy Awareness Day, and Brain Awareness Week - and any day of the year - it is important to increase public knowledge about epilepsies and seizure first aid (https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/about/first-aid.htm) and change the way people think about epilepsies and seizures;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as Epilepsy Awareness Month and encourage Michigan residents to take action together and use our brains to overcome the challenges of living with the epilepsies and accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures and save lives.