Epilepsy Foundation Florida Responds to Radio Show Host’s Video About Comedy Routine After Audience Member Has a Seizure

Statement from Meredith Terrian, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation Florida

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — Members of our community brought to our attention that a radio show host from 102.5 The Bone (St. Petersburg, Fla.) posted a video on the host’s social media with a mocking tone about someone who had a seizure during a comedy show in Orlando where this host was in attendance. The radio show host made rude comments in subsequent social media posts and on air. Unfortunately, the show host doesn’t understand the damage her tone could cause and how mocking medical conditions could have long-term effects on people who live with them. Instances like these attest to the need for more awareness and education about epilepsy and other health disparities. We contacted the radio station to discuss the matter; station producers have expressed a willingness to have an open conversation about epilepsy and seizures.

The radio host’s comments were an ill attempt at humor and bullying at its worst. Comments like these are demeaning and hurtful not only to those living with epilepsy, but also their families and health care providers who devote their lives to treating the condition. Sadly, bullying, discrimination, and mocking coming from fear and misunderstanding about epilepsy and seizures is all too common. This leads to isolation among people who battle the disease that in turn leads to stigma, lack of treatment, and increased risk of harm and death.

Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder that affects nearly 230,000 people in the state of Florida alone. Over a lifetime, one in 10 people will have a seizure, and one in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Those most severely affected by epilepsy may experience hundreds of seizures a day, struggle with daily tasks and quality of life, and are at a significantly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

Epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain. And anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation exists to END EPILEPSY®. That means increasing awareness and changing the conversation around epilepsy to improve and save lives through care, advocacy, research, new therapies and education, as well as mobilizing everyone to take action.

We provide education to fight the ignorance that exists about epilepsy. We support and encourage people who are educating themselves and others about epilepsy to prevent bullying and promote understanding and safety. We hear stories of our community getting bullied, but we also share stories of strength, perseverance, and hope. These are the stories worth telling. We invite everyone to learn more about epilepsy and seizures at epilepsy.com and to hear these powerful stories at EndEpilepsy.org.

We look forward to meeting with the station to move past this incident and to invite them to join us to END EPILEPSY.

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. There are more than twice as many people with epilepsy in the U.S. as the number of people with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis, combined. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States, including nearly 230,000 people in Florida, live with active epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation Florida

Epilepsy Foundation Florida serves people living with epilepsy across the state. The Foundation is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY® in Florida by supporting and mobilizing the epilepsy community through educational activities, direct services, advocacy, as well as research to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. The Foundation also seeks to educate the general public to better understand epilepsy and seizure disorders, including knowing proper seizure first aid. For more information, please visit epilepsy.com/Florida. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/EpilepsyFoundationFlorida.

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Contact Name: 
Meredith Terrian
Contact Phone: 
(407) 371-5668
Contact Email: 

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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