On Sunday, families of loved ones with epilepsy joined together at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
The Zoo teamed up with Parkview Physicians Group, Riley Children’s Health and other organizations for an Epilepsy Awareness Day at the Frankie #1 Pavilion.
The day included a stroll through the zoo, an awareness expo and a Q&A panel.
One of the organizations at the event was Indy based, Briezy’s Bunch. The nonprofit was started by April Krowel last year. April’s 3 year-old daughter, Aubrie, was diagnosed with epilepsy at just 8 months old. Now she wants to help other families going through the same struggles.
“Our mission is to help anyone financially when insurance doesn’t cover what they need,” said Krowel. “That includes medical devices, seizure monitoring watches, things like that insurance does not cover and we want to make sure that Fort Wayne knows that we are a resource.”
Doctors and specialists were on hand to answer questions for parents.
“The research says that people with epilepsy have just a little bit of support or don’t have as much social support, because of the stigma, so really kind of bonding was our mission here today, as well as just the resources for people,” said Krowel.
Research shows 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. In the U.S., 150,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. For parents, like Julie Lebamoff, events like the one held Sunday make a world of difference.
“It’s a struggle and sometimes you feel all alone,” said Lebamoff. “It’s nice to be at these events to see other families and talk.”
To learn more about Briezy’s Bunch, you can head to their website.