Healthy Women Image

HealthyWomen Editors

The editorial team and staff of HealthyWomen.

Full Bio

Women Help Women Live and Cope with a Chronic Medical Condition in the Family

Epilepsy Advocate™ and HealthyWomen Join Forces to Inspire and Empower Women Affected by Epilepsy

Atlanta, GA and Red Bank, NJ – A new campaign explores the roles and responsibilities women uniquely encounter when living, or caring for a loved one, with epilepsy.  "Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" is a collaboration between Epilepsy Advocate and HealthyWomen to educate, empower and inspire women and families whose lives are affected by epilepsy.  

To view, download and share photos and videos, click here.

"Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" illustrates the multidimensional impact of epilepsy on women through the personal stories of those who have faced—and overcome—the  unique challenges posed by epilepsy, such as:

•    When to see a specialist and what to expect
•    How to help a child achieve independence and transition into adulthood
•    How to manage family life while living with a chronic condition like epilepsy

"The challenges and solutions shared by the women featured in this campaign should resonate with those who have either experienced life with a chronic condition, or cared for a loved one," said Beth Battaglino Cahill, RN, Executive Director, HealthyWomen.  "As healthcare decision makers for themselves and their families, women need information and tools to help them navigate through some of the challenges posed by conditions like epilepsy."

The Epilepsy Advocate community includes more than 60 Epilepsy Advocates who share their challenges and triumphs so that others are empowered to seek care with a goal of seizure freedom with minimal side effects.  HealthyWomen is the leading independent health information source for women. The success stories and epilepsy information featured in the "Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" video series, moderated by Ms. Battaglino Cahill, are available at and, and include:

•    Shelley Kays, Epilepsy Advocate, mother and caregiver of a 21-year-old daughter diagnosed with epilepsy at age six and who is now getting ready for on-campus college life.
•    Heather Evrley, Epilepsy Advocate, diagnosed with epilepsy while in college, married for 13 years, raising two young children, and working toward an advanced degree in the legal field.
•    Blanca Vazquez, MD, provides perspective on how epilepsy uniquely affects women.  Dr. Vazquez is an epilepsy specialist at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center.  

"I hope my story will help other women realize they can live life on their own terms by advocating for themselves and their families," said Heather Evrley, Epilepsy Advocate.  "This means learning about your medical condition and finding a doctor who not only understands the condition, but also answers all of your questions."

In addition to the new video series, and contain a wealth of epilepsy data, expert insights and stories of other individuals living with epilepsy.

About Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately three million people in the U.S.—making it as common as breast cancer.  Anyone can develop epilepsy; it occurs across all ages, races and genders. Uncontrolled seizures and medication side effects pose challenges to independent living, learning and employment, so the goal of epilepsy treatment is seizure freedom with minimal side effects.  However, only half of people diagnosed will achieve seizure freedom with the first medication they try and more than one million people in the U.S. continue to experience seizures despite trying two or more antiepileptic drugs.  New medications and treatments give hope to those living with uncontrolled seizures.

About Epilepsy Advocate™

UCB, a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in neurology, sponsors Epilepsy Advocate, a community of people whose lives are directly affected by epilepsy, including those with epilepsy, their caregivers, family and friends.  These remarkable individuals share their challenges and triumphs so that others are empowered to seek care with a goal of seizure freedom with minimal side effects.  Beginning in 2006 with 18 Advocates, the program has grown to include more than 60 Advocates.  Over 15,000 people have connected with Epilepsy Advocates at more than 300 programs across the U.S., and Epilepsy Advocate magazine has a readership of over 100,000 per issue.  For more information about the Epilepsy Advocate program, as well as speaker events in cities and towns nationwide, visit or find us on Facebook:

About HealthyWomen (HW)
HealthyWomen (HW) is the leading independent health information source for women. A not-for-profit organization, HW provides health information through a wide array of online content and print publications that are original, objective and reflect the latest advances in evidence-based health research.  For more than 20 years, women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. To learn more, visit Recently ranked in the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman, we are proud to bring our visitors essential and compelling information about epilepsy.

Women Succeeding with Epilepsy is sponsored by UCB, Inc.

To schedule an interview with any of the women mentioned above, contact:

Sarah Giarrusso

Marisa Bushee

You might be interested in