Epilepsy Therapy Project Assembles Dedicated Team of Athletes to Run in Upcoming U.S. City Marathons to Support New Therapies for Epilepsy

USA Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist Chanda Gunn and Team ETP to Participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, D.C., the ING New York City Marathon or the Philadelphia Marathon

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Therapy Project (ETP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate new therapies for people living with epilepsy and seizures and the parent organization of epilepsy.com, today announced the assembly of Team ETP, a committed team of athletes running this fall in four major U.S. city marathons to raise funds in support of its mission.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For the Epilepsy Therapy Project every day is a step on the journey toward accelerating new therapies for the over two million Americans living with epilepsy, and especially for the nearly one million of those for whom no therapies have been successful in treating or controlling their seizures. For the last ten years, ETP has tirelessly dedicated its resources to providing funding for promising new projects from world-renowned scientists and doctors to help find new therapies that will provide seizure control with no side effects for those whose lives have been affected by this sometimes overlooked condition.

"These marathons provide a terrific opportunity for runners to sponsor worthwhile causes," said Kim Macher, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Therapy Project. "We are very grateful to all of the runners who are supporting us with their grit and determination to speed the progress of new therapies for epilepsy."

This year, the Epilepsy Therapy Project has enlisted the help of Chanda Gunn, former goaltender and Olympic Medalist for the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team, and an extraordinary team of runners from across America to form Team ETP. To help the Epilepsy Therapy Project, these athletes will be running in marathons in Chicago (Bank of America Chicago Marathon, October 7, 2012), Washington, D.C. (Marine Corps Marathon, October 28, 2012), New York City (ING New York City Marathon, November 4, 2012) and Philadelphia (Philadelphia Marathon, November 18, 2012). All are participating for different reasons, but share a common goal: To find effective treatments for all people with epilepsy and seizures.

Chanda Gunn has long been a spokesperson for the Epilepsy Therapy Project. She has suffered with epilepsy since childhood, and having been a goaltender on the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team, she knows a thing or two about performing under pressure. Chanda shares, "I also have epilepsy, and that hasn't stopped me; it's just another challenge. You tap into your strengths, you work hard, and do what you need to do to meet your goal – or in my case, to stop them. There are over 60 million people worldwide with epilepsy and one-third live with uncontrolled seizures despite all available therapies, and others control their seizures with medications that impair their ability to function. I'm running with Team ETP to help raise funding for their mission. Each donation will help us reach our destination and give every person with epilepsy the same chance I had – the chance to meet their goals." Ms. Gunn will be running in the Philadelphia leg of the marathon.

Runner Jackie Clark will participate in the Bank of America Marathon in Chicago. Jackie says "My daughter Sage…has uncontrollable seizures. She has been on seven or eight different types of meds that all have some terrible side effects. She has no choice but to take [the medicines] and deal with it," she says of her daughter. "I on the other hand, have a choice and the only logical choice is to help raise money in hopes of finding a cure for epilepsy."

Other runners, such as Mary Gardner are running in memory of someone they've lost to epilepsy and its related trauma. Mary writes in her Team ETP bio, "Last year, my husband Greg and I decided to run the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon as a part of Team ETP. As newlyweds, we were in the process of moving from New York City to the Washington, DC area. We thought challenging ourselves with the marathon and supporting an organization we believed in would be an excellent way to meet new people and give Greg an opportunity to show me his hometown during our many training runs. Sadly, Greg passed away in May 2011 before we could complete our goal. Greg's death has been attributed to Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). With so little known about SUDEP, it has been an incredible challenge for his family and me to process our loss." Though Mary has suffered tremendous loss, she continues to train for the race while raising money for ETP, an organization that is close to her heart, and to her family's as well.

Runners for Team ETP are not just supporters of the organization; some have epilepsy themselves. Scott Knight, who is running the ING New York City Marathon, has suffered from epilepsy all his life. Knight writes in his Team ETP bio, "The Epilepsy Therapy Project has helped me find medications that are more effective and have less severe side effects..."But Scott's own struggle with epilepsy has made him want to do more for others who have the condition. He says, "Ever since high school…I have wanted to do something about it to help others with epilepsy and help myself live a normal life…Funding for new epilepsy therapies is unacceptably limited."

Since adding three new marathons to their season lineup, Team ETP has expanded so that it has teams within teams. That was definitely the case with Gatewood Campbell and her team "Shaken, not Stirred." She writes, "I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005 caused by a mild traumatic brain injury earlier that year. I was only 32 years old, married ten years, with two sons, ages 7 and 2, and I was working full time. Our world was rocked in ways we could never have predicted…" Gatewood, and seven of her friends, will be running for Team ETP in the Philadelphia Marathon this fall. She writes, "I am blessed to be among those with epilepsy that can be controlled with drugs. I can help those that are not able to speak up…I can be an advocate for epilepsy."

This fall, the Team ETP runners will be lacing up their sneakers to take a journey with the Epilepsy Therapy Project. They will be pushing their bodies to the limits for the people they love, and the people they advocate for. Help them get to their destinations by donating to Team ETP. Help them win a race against time for people all over America who suffer from epilepsy.

To donate to Team ETP, visit: http://www.epilepsy.com/etp/TeamETP. For marathon runners who would like to support ETP, please contact us or set up your own fundraising page at https://bos.etapestry.com/fundraiser/EpilepsyTherapyProject/main/aboutEvent.do.

About the Epilepsy Therapy Project
The Epilepsy Therapy Project is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate ideas into therapies for people living with epilepsy and seizures. Founded in 2002 by a group of parents, distinguished physicians, and researchers, the Epilepsy Therapy Project supports the commercialization of new therapies through direct grants and investments in promising academic and commercial projects. For more information about epilepsy, epilepsy treatment and the epilepsy pipeline, please visit our website, www.epilepsy.com.

SOURCE Epilepsy Therapy Project