HCN News & Notes

Epilepsy Foundation New England to Host Annual Springfield Walk

SPRINGFIELD — People living with epilepsy, their families, friends, and caregivers are encouraged to take part in the Epilepsy Foundation New England’s (EFNE) fourth annual Springfield Walk at Forest Park on Saturday, April 30, rain or shine.

The guest emcee is Tamara Sacharczyk, a Western Mass. native and reporter for WWLP 22 News, and also a person living with epilepsy. “We are thrilled to have Tamara participating in our walk this year, as she is proof that, with support and opportunities, people with epilepsy can live full lives,” said Leslie Brody, president and CEO of EFNE. “We hope that many young people will be inspired by her story.”

The Walk for Epilepsy is not a race, but an all-ages, all-abilities, family-friendly walk to raise awareness and funds for EFNE and its programs in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. For many, though, it is much more than a fund-raiser; it is an opportunity to come together, share stories and resources, and in many instances find support and friendship. “The Springfield Walk renews both my family’s and my hope each year that we will stamp out the stigmas still associated with this disorder, decrease the fear surrounding seizures, and increase support for those affected by epilepsy,” said Jean Gilman, an adult who has had epilepsy since childhood.

Aside from the walk, families can enjoy music provided by the Blue Spotlight Project, a raffle, crafts, and more. Registered walkers will receive a T-shirt and box lunch catered by Holyoke Community College’s Aramark.

To register, visit www.epilepsynewengland.org/springfieldwalk. The cost is $15 per person (kids 12 and under are free, but need to register) through April 28. Day-of registration starts at 11 a.m. and is $20 per person. Walkers may wish to carpool, as the park entrance fees are $3 for in-state vehicles and $5 for out-of-state. The walk starts at noon, and pets on leashes are welcome.

In addition, the organization will hold a community-wide clothing drive, so even people who can’t walk, but wish to participate in the event and help raise funds, can donate a bag of clothing. Each full 13-gallon bag of clothing will earn a raffle ticket for prizes at the walk.

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