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National Expressions of Courage Art Contest Unveils Stories of Inspiration
Date:11/16/2009

RARITAN, N.J., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Epilepsy and seizures affect nearly 3 million Americans of all ages and in 70 percent of new cases, no cause is apparent. Those who live daily with the condition have no way of knowing when the next seizure will occur, how long it will last or where they will be, often experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as they cope with the condition. The wonder behind the diagnosis, the perseverance in managing it, and the support received through family and friends are some examples of the stories told through artwork in the 2009 Expressions of Courage® art contest, a national art competition inviting people with epilepsy to submit creative artwork conveying their feelings of living with epilepsy.

Expressions of Courage® is a program developed and funded by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation. Today, they announced the winners of the 2009 contest which showcases the artistic talent and inspirational stories of people with epilepsy during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, recognized each November.

"Every year I look forward to announcing the Expressions of Courage® contest winners, as each individual has a unique way of demonstrating his or her feelings of living with the condition in a way that words cannot," said Eric R. Hargis, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "We are truly proud of the Expressions of Courage® participants for giving a voice to what it's like to live with epilepsy, standing up and sharing their personal experiences with the public."

The 2009 contest winners include:

  • Breanna Plessinger, 11, Covington, Ohio; In Plessinger's artwork titled, "Special," she drew a koala bear that represents one of the "special things" she enjoys while at epilepsy camp.
  • Travis Johnson, 10, Houston, Texas; In Johnson's artwork titled, "Shadow,"
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SOURCE Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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