Local resident Sarah Woodfin will be honored at the event for her courage and strength of character while living with epilepsy
Epilepsy Alliance Florida will host its annual Pensacola Walk the Talk for Epilepsy on Saturday, May 14, 2022 – the largest community event in the area that raises awareness and funds for individuals living with epilepsy. The walk will be held at Seville Square (311 West Government St.) in Pensacola, with registration opening at 8 a.m. and the walk following at 9:15 a.m. This year’s event will mark the organization’s 50-year anniversary.
The Pensacola Walk the Talk for Epilepsy, sponsored by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Brain Institute, will be led by 9th Avenue Brass, a New Orleans second line style brass band based in Pensacola, and will feature family-friendly entertainment, including a live DJ, a Kids Zone sponsored by Pilot Club and Truth for Youth, the Waffle Boutique food truck, special appearances by Star Wars characters, and live music from “The Fer Sures.”
Local resident Sarah Woodfin will be honored at the event with Epilepsy Florida’s Clayton Feig Youth Award, an award commemorating youth who battle seizures and that highlights the important work of those dedicated to removing the stigma associated with epilepsy. The award was established in memory of Clayton Feig, a young man who demonstrated courage and strength of character while dealing with epilepsy. Complications from epilepsy claimed Clayton’s life in 1993 when he was just 18-years-old.
Twenty-year-old Sarah experienced her first seizure while sleeping during her 3rd grade school year. A few days later, she had her second seizure. She was diagnosed with several different types of seizures by her neurology team, including grand mal, complex partial, and absence seizures. The months and years to come were full of several different medications and tests. The decision was made to undergo vagus nerve stimulation, a treatment that sends regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve through a device. While this did help, it did not stop the seizures from recurring every 7-10 days. Sarah was then evaluated for and received brain resection surgery in 2019. While this temporarily stopped the seizures, they ultimately returned. She has since been diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy, also known as refractory epilepsy. Sarah has not let her diagnosis stop her from participating and excelling in all things, especially her love of helping people. Sarah volunteers with her church nursery and with Pensacola’s Takin It To The Streets homeless ministry. The courage she shows daily inspires her family to advocate and raise awareness for those living with epilepsy.
“Sarah’s work in raising local epilepsy awareness is remarkable,” said Karen Basha Egozi, President and CEO of Epilepsy Alliance Florida. “We’re grateful to her for serving as an advocate and raising awareness, and are proud to recognize her as she is a true representation of all this award entails.”
Epilepsy, a common neurological condition that one in 26 people will be diagnosed with at some point in their lives, is a diagnosis given when a person experiences two or more seizures that cannot be attributed to another cause. It is a disorder more people live with than autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy – combined.
Epilepsy Alliance Florida (formerly Epilepsy Florida), established in 1971 as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3), is dedicated to supporting those impacted by epilepsy by confronting the spectrum of challenges created by seizures. It is a founding member of the Epilepsy Alliance America. Epilepsy Alliance Florida provides numerous services to individuals and families, including advocacy and counseling, education and prevention, direct medical and neuropsychological services, as well as other programs regardless of financial situation or socioeconomic status. For more information, visit epilepsyalliancefl.com.