NeuroPace is pleased to announce that Brandie from Pineville, South Carolina is the winner of our 2019 Big Small Moments – #WalkToEndEpilepsy Giveaway.

The contest, which ran from October 16 to December 11, 2019, attracted more than 3,000 entries.

When our giveaway started, NeuroPace made a commitment to donate $1 for each entry to the J. Kiffin Penry Patient Travel Assistance Fund, which reimburses travel expenses for eligible epilepsy patients and their families who meet certain criteria.

In the end, we decided to round up our gift and provide a $5,000 donation to the travel assistance fund. We recognize that many people living with epilepsy have difficulty accessing the care they need due to financial constraints and transportation problems. With our donation, NeuroPace is honored to help patients and their family members overcome those challenges.

As winner of our 2019 Big Small Moments – #WalkToEndEpilepsy Giveaway, Brandie and a guest will enjoy complimentary round-trip travel to Washington, DC, a two-night hotel stay, and two tickets to the 2020 Nationwide Walk to End Epilepsy.

Brandie and her guest will join thousands of patients, family members, friends, and activists from across North America who will converge on the National Mall and take steps to end epilepsy. Funds raised by Walk to End Epilepsy participants go toward helping The Epilepsy Foundation provide free programs and resources to the 3.4 million Americans living with epilepsy.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity,” says Brandie. “I’ve been suffering from seizures for almost 20 years, so I’m excited to meet other people who are living with epilepsy, hear their story, and share my story.”

Now 37 years old, Brandie says she first started having seizures when she was in her late teens. They soon worsened to the point where she might have 4 to 5 seizures per day.

Typically, the seizures manifest with numbness on the right side of her body and severe anxiety. Sometimes, the seizures are so severe that she passes out and wakes up in the hospital.

In 2015, while she was modeling in an out-of-state fashion show, Brandie experienced her worst seizure. She was preparing for the show when she began sweating profusely. In quick succession, she suffered a nosebleed and swelling in her extremities. She fell unconscious and woke up in the hospital a week later to discover she had been in a coma. Altogether, she says that she ended up spending nearly a month in the hospital before she was discharged.

These days, Brandie says her seizure frequency and severity has improved with a combination of medications and natural remedies, but she continues to search for solutions that will give her greater seizure control.

“I’ll be walking not just for myself, but for all the people out there – including two of my young cousins – who are living with seizure disorders,” says Brandie. “By joining the Walk to End Epilepsy, I’m hoping to raise awareness of this disorder. The more I learn, the more excited I feel that advances in epilepsy treatment will hopefully help people like me to lead healthier and more independent lives.”

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Unable to participate in the 2020 Nationwide Walk to End Epilepsy in DC? You can still join the movement by walking in one of the many Walk to End Epilepsy events that take place around the country each year. Click here to find a Walk to End Epilepsy near you!