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Illinois Youth Rally for Change on Capitol Hill

Saturday, March 20, 2010 General News J E 4
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Epilepsy Foundation Presents the Eighth Annual Kids Speak Up! Program

WASHINGTON, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Monica Manly of Calumet City, Il, will travel to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 23 through Thursday, March 25, 2010 to meet with congressional leaders and gain their support for epilepsy public health programs and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

Manly, 16, is one of 40 young people from across the country participating in Kids Speak Up!, a national program coordinated by the Epilepsy Foundation. The program rallies young ambassadors with epilepsy between the ages of 8 and 17 to personally petition congressional leaders for aid in assuring better access to care, improved public education and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

"Monica was selected to participate in Kids Speak Up! to represent the approximately 350,000 children who are living with epilepsy," said Eric Hargis, president & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "She is an ideal candidate because of her efforts to spread awareness of epilepsy in her community. Her courage is an inspiration to us all."

New this year is the congressional briefing in which Greg Grunberg, star of NBC's Heroes, who also serves as a Foundation spokesperson in honor of his son Jake, who has epilepsy, will highlight the need for increased support of epilepsy research and the importance of public awareness and understanding of the condition. Joining Greg, will be Jason Snelling of the Atlanta Falcons--who lives with epilepsy, and Geoffrey Pope of the Philadelphia Eagles--whose grandmother has epilepsy.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in children and affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, more than 300,000 children under the age of 15 live with epilepsy in the United States.

For further information about epilepsy or to speak with the Manly family, please contact Kisha James at 301-918-3768 or e-mail kjames@efa.org.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1967. The Foundation's goals are to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and promote research for a cure. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org.

SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation
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