Yesterday was "Epilepsy Awarness Day" at Hillsborough Vineyards in Purcellville, VA. http://www.hillsboroughwine.com/. From 11 am-5 pm, the winery not only had the traditional whites and reds, but it also had purple bunting, posters, and a kind man named Doug who sang and talked about the effect this medical condition has had, on people around the world. 5% of us have epilepsy. One in ten of us are going to have a seizure. Sadly only one half of one percent of U.S. medical funding goes to research. This work not only may cure seizures, that have caused people's quality of life to be curtailed, but has also led to the deaths of many. One of them is my son Tommy, who will never be forgotten, nor will the children of other parents, who've been in these shoes. All of us express our grief differently, and that is okay, but each parent I've talked to or met that has the same pair of sneakers, has said "they never want another person to go through such a nightmare."
It is with profound thanks, to Bora, Asli, and staff at this winery, to donate proceeds of yesterdays event to the National Epilepsy Foundation. (http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org) Their generosity is unbelievable, and since they posted it, I hope its okay to put it out there-25%. I was simply shocked, in a good way, of their profound kindness and decency, their willingness to not only host this event, but to give back to an organization that is helping with research and in so many other endeavors. Their family's kindness, this winery, reminds me of a quote from Coach Tony Dungy. "Your life is of significance if you have done something to help someone out." They have gone far beyond that, and if sports adages can be used with what they have done, they just scored a touchdown. A child, a parent, families will no doubt be helped by their generosity, and people at the event learned about this condition, and were kind enough to reach out as well.
All of the families yesterday at this event, a young man named Cyrus a handsome young man with a loving mom and dad, and grandparents, friends, it was inspiring to meet them. Virginia Civil War and other history are so close to this picturesque location, and I tip my hat to Nicole and crew, who had Haymarket invade Hillsborough with kindness yesterday. While none of us were sitting in a house of worship, it was a spiritual experience in many regards. Walking around the vines, taking in the views, and the slight breeze reminded us all that we must continue to conduct a battle of love against epilepsy. Too many people have suffered or are, and we are at that tipping point in medicine and biology, where we must continue to move our chess pieces in the proper position to make it happen. A life without seizures, no young children with their parents, brothers, and sisters contending with this pain, and people being able to live life to the fullest. That's what it is all about, and simply put, nothing else matters.