How It All Started

Shortly after Sofie’s Epilepsy surgery, a few of the doctors who were part of that success gave us the idea that we do something to give back to the community. Sofie’s surgeon, Dr. Gary Mathern, suggested that we organize a community event, something fun to build awareness.

We started to plan and kick around a few ideas when a friend from Disneyland offered to put us in touch with their event team. A few months later, we had almost 900 people lined up in front of that castle, all in purple shirts, celebrating with their new best friends and talking about how epilepsy has affected their family.

That first event was a magical, warm and fuzzy day, BUT…. something was missing.

Our First EXPO:
As our first Disneyland day was wrapping up, I was approached by a very passionate guest. She introduced herself to me, Dr. Deborah Holder, the new chief of Epilepsy ay Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Holder was very optimistic about what we had created, but she quickly pointed out that we made a huge mistake by not including an educational component to this event.

That next November, Dr. Holder and her non-profit, Brainworks foundation sponsored our 1° ever Epilepsy Awareness and Education EXPO at the paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. Dr. Holder has been a visionary, bringing nationally recognized epilepsy experts to speak to
families at the EXPO each year.

Dr. Holder, and Brainworks, along with the USC Epilepsy Consortium, have since taken on a new project as they deliver a comprehensive, Epilepsy CME program for physicians and medical providers to learn about the newest treatment options, research programs and surgical techniques. By bringing this academic feature to the EXPO, we have now grown the event into “Everything Epilepsy under one roof”