While 1 in 26 people will develop Epilepsy in their lifetime, Epilepsy affects more people than Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy...combined. Soldiers returning from war, athletes suffering concussions can all be affected by Epilepsy.
Erika Kristen Knode, born October 16, 1986, passed away due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) at the age of 27. Erika developed Epilepsy when she was 12 due to a cancerous brain tumor resection she had when she was only 4. Erika had surgery again at 17 in the hopes her Epilepsy would be cured. Both operations were performed by the world-renowned neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, MD.
Erika never allowed Epilepsy to keep her from working towards her goal of a normal life. She found the more people learned what Epilepsy is, the more people could relate to the challenges those with Epilepsy face. Even with the continued obstacles Erika faced, she graduated from college and worked in the medical field. Never feeling sorry for herself, she was kind and generous to others.
Barbara and Jeff English founded the Erika Knode Epilepsy Awareness Memorial Foundation in memory of their daughter to raise awareness of Epilepsy in our society and to assist those with Epilepsy assimilate into the workplace.