TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Epilepsy affects people of all ages. It’s the fourth most common neurological disorder. But doctors said there are more and more ways to become seizure-free if the medicine doesn’t work.
Even though being sandwiched between two full-time jobs, Roni-Kay Lopez carves out time for her “Seize the Moment” epilepsy charity.
“If I can get through this after a life-long battle, how can we help others get the opportunity,” shared Lopez, Founder, Seize the Moment Foundation.
She was having so many seizures as a little girl that doctors didn’t think she’d make it to sixteen.
“I was in a zoo with my family and I had 108 in one day,” explained Lopez.
Selim Benbadis, MD, Neurologist, USF Health said, “Surgery for epilepsy is not very common. Epilepsy is one percent of the population. It’s a large population and about a third of those are difficult to control with medications and those are the ones for which we look at the possibility of surgery.”
Doctor Benbadis uses images like this to find the focus of the seizures.
“In patients in whom we can identify focus precisely and is in a safe place to take it out to resect it, epilepsy surgery is very successful,” stated Dr. Benbadis.
But he said if surgery isn’t an option and medication doesn’t work - there’s neurostimulation.
“Where instead of taking out a part of the brain we stimulate that part or stimulate the entire brain to lessen seizures,” continued Dr. Benbadis.
Surgery worked for Roni and now, “I never would have thought I could tell somebody I’ve been seizure-free let alone medication-free,” smiled Lopez.
That’s why Roni is charging on to spread her charity’s message: Seize the Moment.
Roni said she inherited the epilepsy gene from her great grandmother on her father’s side. Her charity, Seize the Moment, has given $25,000 for research and patient care so far.
Contributors to this news report include: Emily Gleason, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and, Chris Tilley, Videographer.