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Colorado Youth Shares Epilepsy Message on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Claire Franzen of Centennial, CO, will travel to Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 29 through Tuesday, March 31, 2009 to meet with congressional leaders and gain their support for epilepsy public health programs and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

Franzen, 10, is one of 44 young people from across the country participating in Kids Speak Up!, a national program coordinated by the Epilepsy Foundation and funded by Abbott Laboratories. The program rallies young ambassadors with epilepsy between the ages of 7 and 16 to personally petition congressional leaders for aid in assuring better access to care, improved public education and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

"Claire was selected to participate in Kids Speak Up! to represent the approximately 350,000 children under the age of 15 who are affected by the condition," said Eric Hargis, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "She is an ideal candidate because of her willingness to speak openly about her experiences with epilepsy despite the many challenges she's had to overcome. Her courage is an inspiration to us all."

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in children and the third most common in adults after stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Despite modern therapy, about one million people in the U.S. continue to experience seizures or significant side effects from treatment for their epilepsy.

Epilepsy imposes an annual economic burden of $15.5 billion on the nation in associated health care costs and losses in employment, wages and productivity.

For further information about epilepsy or to speak with the Franzen family, please contact Kisha James at 301-918-3768 or e-mail

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national nonprofit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. The Foundation's goals are to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy and research, so not another moment is lost to seizures. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation
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