Media Room

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Thank you for your interest in writing about the epilepsies and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. We want you to have easy access to information about our organization and about the epilepsies. This page provides links to our media stories, videos, photo albums and Enews.

Our Mission

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles leads the fight to END EPILEPSY. And we participate in the Epilepsy Foundation’s nationwide mission to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives stop seizures and early death, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.

Our Description (broilerplate)

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY through care, advocacy, research and education. We offer a range of services and programs to help, support, care and advocate for, and empower those who are affected by the epilepsies and their caregivers. We educate the general public about epilepsy and how to recognize seizures and administer first aid. We support research for cures and the training and work of specialists in our region in order to improve access to specialty epilepsy care and increase epilepsy research in our region — giving people with epilepsy and their loved ones greater access to care today and greater hope for cures in the future.  

We invite everyone to join the fight to END EPILEPSY at You can contact us at and 800.564.0445. The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our tax ID is 95-2046033.


Who We Serve

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is an ally with and advocates for individuals and families affected by epilepsy/seizure disorders. Our primary area of service includes the Counties of Los Angeles (9.95 million), Orange (3.0 million), San Bernardino (2.0 million) and Ventura (0.8 million). The combined population of our territory is over 15.75 million and at least 1% or about 160,000 people have epilepsy. However, many more are significantly impacted by epilepsy in their daily lives when you include family members, caregivers, and friends.

How We Are Established

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles has been  in existence for over 55 years, but under different names. We are the only non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated solely to serving people affected by epilepsy throughout this entire region. We are an independent non-profit organization that chooses to affiliate with the national Epilepsy Foundation headquartered in Landover, Maryland.

Contact Us

Rebekkah Halliwell 
Executive Director
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

310.670.2870 (office)

Epilepsies / Seizure Disorders
  • Definition and characteristics of the epilepsies

    • The most recent definition of epilepsy is as follows:
      Epilepsy is considered a disease of the brain defined by any of the following conditions: (1) At least two unprovoked (or reflex) seizures occurring >24 hr apart; (2) one unprovoked (or reflex) seizure and a probability of further seizures similar to the general recurrence risk (at least 60%) after two unprovoked seizures, occurring over the next 10 years; or (3) diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome. 
      (Source: International League Against Epilepsy)
    • The previous definition of epilepsy was as follows and is still seen in much of the literature and media:
      The epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to ones that are much more benign. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. 
    • Epilepsies are characterized by seizures which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures range from sudden, uncontrolled body movements and changes in behavior to loss of awareness, changes in emotion, loss of muscle control, and shaking.
    • Some types of epilepsy remit or go away but some are chronic and even life-long.
    • Some people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure.
    • Depending on age and medical history, some people with epilepsy may have a dual diagnosis with another neurological disorders as well — developmental delay, cerebral palsy, autism, dementia, and mental illness.

  • Diagnosis and treatment of the epilepsies

    • Besides a neurological evaluation and medical history, the common diagnostic tests for epilepsy include (1) an EEG or electroencephalogram which measures the electrical activity in the brain, and brain imaging scans including computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
    • The epilepsies have many possible causes and there are several types of seizures. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity—from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development—can lead to seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, changes in important features of brain cells called channels, or some combination of these and other factors.
    • Treatments for epilepsy include many different kinds of anti-seizure medications, different surgical treatments, and a few different dietary therapies. 

  • Numbers of people affected by epilepsy

    • 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in his or her lifetime. 
    • About 200,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy each year.
    • The epilepsies affect almost 65 million people in the world, almost 3 million in the USA, and about 160,000 in our 4-county region.
    • The number of people affected by epilepsy increases dramatically when considering the family members and friends.
    • Epilepsy affects more people than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease — combined.

  • Epilepsy research

    • Epilepsy receives far fewer dollars per patient affected than any of these neurological disorders — cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.
    • There are no cures.
    • There is active epilepsy research in our region but not nearly enough.

  • Impact of the epilepsies

    • About 30 percent of those with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures because no available treatment works for them.
    • It is estimated that about 50,000 people die from epilepsy related causes in the USA every year. Those causes include status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), sudden unexpected death in epilepsy also known as SUDEP, and other seizure related causes such as drowning and other accidents. 
    • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy or SUDEP accounts for about 30% of all sudden deaths in children.
    • Of the 2.2 million troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, an estimated 440,000 (20%) will experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) and more than 100,000 (23%) of those are expected to develop post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE).
    • Epilepsy costs the USA approximately $15.5 billion each year.
    • Traumatic brain injury can result from sports-related injuries. Proper and quick recognition of and response to a concussive brain injury when it first occurs can help prevent further injury, the development of post-traumatic epilepsy or even death.


You can use these quotes or contact to request other quotes.

“I am often struck with how important this cause is. It is a life threatening cause that demands the activism of everyone — and especially those with epilepsy and those who care for them.”
-Steven Baum, President, Board of Trustees, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“My son, Sebastian, has a severe form of childhood epilepsy. He is the bravest person I know. He inspires me to be part of this fight to End Epilepsy. I know most of my fellow trustees feel the same way. We are all inspired by the brave people with epilepsy whom we know.”
-Steven Baum, President, Board of Trustees, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“Time and again I have seen the importance of sharing personal stories of epilepsy. It is critical to End Epilepsy. We will not End Epilepsy if those with epilepsy do not share their stories. Each story is like gold in support of this fight.”
-Susan Pietsch-Escueta, MPH, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“Epilepsy is far more common than most people realize. In fact, epilepsy affects more people than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease — combined. Sadly, however, it receives far fewer dollars per patient affected than each of those neurological diseases.” 
-Susan Pietsch-Escueta, MPH, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“We need awareness that helps the public understand about seizures and epilepsy and their impact on children, adults and families… At the core of what we are doing … is a very real and serious FIGHT.”
-Jeannett, mother of Jilly,

Correct terms to use (and not use)

Inclusive language for writing about epilepsy


Phrase to use
Phrase NOT to use

person with epilepsy



fit, spell, attack

epilepsy is a disease/disorder of the brain

epilepsy is a psychiatric or mental illness


patient (and other medical terms)

Coming soon – other guidelines on writing about persons with disabilities. 


Latest News
  • April 6, 2021
    Welcome to the Epilepsy Learning Portal

            The Epilepsy Learning Portal is your one-stop shop to access the Epilepsy Foundation’s online and on-demand trainings about epilepsy and seizures. Here are some of our most popular classes. Feel free to browse our full class catalog. Many classes offer continuing education credits. Review the course descriptions and instructions for more […]

  • July 13, 2020
    Virtual Walk to End Epilepsy on November 7

    Walk to END EPILEPSY® Goes Virtual on Saturday, November 7, 2020  We held on to hope that we would be able to meet in person for the Walk to END EPILEPSY®, but ultimately, the health and well-being of our community is our utmost priority. Therefore, we have made the tough decision to forego an in-person […]

  • May 20, 2020
    COVID-19 Local Operations Update

    As many of us are hearing reports of states, counties, and cities throughout the United States beginning to reopen in different phases, you are probably wondering how this effects your local Epilepsy Foundation. We are continuing to operate based on the most recent guidance issued by our public health experts and government officials surrounding the […]

  • April 23, 2020
    Community survey – help us help you!

    During this time of pandemic, the Epilepsy Foundation Greater Los Angeles is here for you! We want to know how you are doing and what virtual programs might be of interest. Help us help you by completing the online survey below (or click here). Questions? Contact us at or 310.670.2870.    Online Form – […]

  • March 12, 2020
    Walk to END EPILEPSY® Postponed Due to Latest Policy on COVID-19

    Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Postpones its Walk to END EPILEPSY® Planned for March 22 at the Rose Bowl Due to Latest Policy on COVID-19 by State Health Experts and Government Agencies Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is closely monitoring the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus). In light of the updated policy by […]

  • November 1, 2019
    November Epilepsy Awareness Month Kicks Off with Announcement of Walk

    It is with great excitement, on the first day of November Epilepsy Awareness Month, that we announce our Walk to End Epilepsy on March 22, 2020 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  The Walk to End Epilepsy is a fun-filled community event – with a serious cause – that gives everyone an opportunity to share […]