On the way to Los Angeles for the Walk to End Epilepsy, Hailey and I were discussing what would take place. She was going to address the crowd for a couple of minutes to get everyone motivated as well as bring attention to the Kids Crew program. She had been practicing for a few weeks as she always does before a presentation.
As it turns out, the forecast yesterday for nasty weather this morning was bad enough to cancel the walk. Safety was a top priority and when the National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory along with the threat of heavy rain, the final decision was made. The team in Los Angeles was heartbroken. It is their biggest event of the year that brings 5,000 people together from the epilepsy community to support one another and fund local programs, services, and research.
When Hailey and I heard the news, we headed into the office to help however we were needed. Hailey wrote the names of teams on signs and I got to work calling team captains to let them know the bad news. We were joined by a number of Epilepsy Foundation staff members from various states who had flown or driven in to help at the walk. Everyone got busy working to get the word out.
I continue to be amazed at the dedication and commitment of those with which I am fortunate to call my colleagues. To say I am grateful for their hard work, compassion, and perseverance would be an understatement. Although they are staff members, they have the hearts of volunteers, ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to help others and taking as long as necessary to do so. They don’t look at a clock to see when it’s time to punch out. They serve individuals and families in their communities with amazing passion because it’s a part of who they are.
There is still a long way to go to help people in every part of the country. We hear that and see it on a regular basis. We know that more has to be done. The needs are great and there are not currently enough resources available for all those who require support. But the more we work together, the closer we will get to our goal to End Epilepsy.