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Senior Obama Strategist David Axelrod and Wife Susan to be Honored for Their Decade-Long Commitment to Epilepsy Research at NYC Benefit

ABC's George Stephanopoulos to be Guest Speaker; PARADE Magazine Publisher

Randy Siegel to Emcee May 13 Event, Sponsored by PARADE

NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- David Axelrod -- one of America's leading political strategists and senior adviser to Senator Barack Obama -- and his wife, Susan, will be honored for their decade of leadership and commitment to epilepsy research at the First Annual New York City Benefit for CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy). George Stephanopoulos, Chief Washington Correspondent for ABC News and anchor of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," will be the guest speaker at the May 13 event. PARADE Publisher Randy Siegel will emcee.

The Axelrod's commitment to curing epilepsy is deeply personal. Their daughter Lauren, now 26, has suffered irreversible brain damage as a result of the disease. She began experiencing life-threatening seizures when she was just seven months old.

In 1998, Susan, unwilling to sit back and accept the devastating effects that continued uncontrollable seizures had on their daughter's life, joined forces with two other mothers of children with epilepsy. Together they formed Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy and spearheaded the search for a cure. Since then, CURE has raised $9 million, funded 70 cutting-edge research grants, sponsored scientific conferences and helped change the national dialogue on the disease.

David Axelrod has played an integral role in furthering CURE's mission, spreading the word to his colleagues in Washington and enlisting high-profile help in providing a national voice for those with epilepsy, like his daughter.

"David and Susan have done outstanding work in bringing awareness to this devastating disease," says Siegel, whose own daughter, Rebecca, suffers from epilepsy. "We celebrate their efforts and hope for a cure. That can only happen through continued fundraising and research."

CURE fundraisers and speakers have included Meet the Press host Tim Russert, U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel, Senator Barack Obama, Senator John Edwards, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects more than 3 million Americans of all ages-more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson's disease combined-and affects more than 50 million people worldwide. In the U.S., nearly 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each day. Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors. In more than 30 percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. And in two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown. Tens of thousands Americans die annually of this disease.

Visit CURE's Web site at for facts about epilepsy, personal stories, research funding, grants and special events.

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