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Emily’s Perspective: Young Epilepsy Champions 2016

Young Epilepsy Awards 2015On Thursday 26th March 2015, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Young Epilepsy Champion Awards at the London City Hall to represent Living Well With Epilepsy. For those of you who may not know, Young Epilepsy is the national charity working exclusively on behalf of children and young people with Epilepsy. Young Epilepsy is a leading provider of specialist health and education services. Last year’s awards held a glittering evening attended by finalists, sponsors, supporters and celebrities to celebrate the Champions of 2015.

Now in it’s fourth year, the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards will celebrate the achievements of children and young people with epilepsy across the country and those who make their lives better.  In previous years guests have included Actor Martin Kemp, TV Personality Peter Andre, Athlete Dai Green, Olympic Champion James Cracknell and TOWIE star Ferne McCann.

The Young Epilepsy Champions Awards this year will take place Wednesday 18th May at The UnderGlobe in London. This falls during National Epilepsy Awareness week, which runs from 18th May – 24th May 2016. National Epilepsy Week aims to raise awareness about epilepsy and gather support for people with epilepsy.

Young Epilepsy wants to find the most inspirational people who have succeeded despite their epilepsy challenges and those who have supported them along the way.  Epilepsy is a condition in which a person experiences recurrent seizures. Also referred to as ‘fits’, seizures are caused by a sudden increase of excess electrical activity within the brain. An increase in electrical activity within the brain is known as ‘epileptic activity’. Excess electrical activity interferes with the normal function of the brain causing a temporary interruption of messages, which pass between brain cells.

This condition affects around 500,000 people in the UK. Each individual will all have their own epilepsy champion who has helped them through a difficult time, whether it is a family member, teacher, medical professional or organisation.  With this in mind, nominations are now OPEN to those with the condition who have achieved wonderful things or those who have been a support to people living with epilepsy.

Deadline to nominate a champion: February 29, 2016

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At last year’s Champion Awards a young girl was presented an award for saving her Mothers life. The young lady who represents many young children living with and caring for a parent or family member with epilepsy, won the bravery award of 2015. Sienna Alderley, then aged 5, went above and beyond to save her Mother’s life and bravely calling 999 (911) whilst she was having a seizure. James Cracknell, a British athlete, rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist presented Sienna her award.

I am helping the team to raise awareness of the awards so that more people can get recognition for what they have achieved, wonderful things they have done or those who have been a support to people living with epilepsy. So if you would like to nominate a special somebody, please head over to Young Epilepsy’s website www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/champions . All nominations for awards must be submitted by midnight 28 February 2016!

For more information, please visit youngpilepsy.org.uk or follow Young Epilepsy on Twitter @YoungEpilepsy, Facebook/YoungEpilepsy or Youtube/YoungEpilepsy.