Epilepsy surgeon, patient discuss need for greater awareness

April 07, 2016

The CBS2 News interviewed UC Irvine Health neurosurgeon Dr. Sumeet Vadera and epilepsy patient Angel Ojeda today about their upcoming trip to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders and decision makers to raise awareness about the disease and to urge increased funding for research for a cure, medication development and public health programs.

Ojeda, seizure-free since Vadera performed a right temporal lobectomy last April, was selected by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles as part of the California delegation for the April 18-19 trip and was awarded its Teens Speak Out scholarship.

“Too many people with epilepsy don’t understand that surgery is an option,” said Vadera, a neurosurgeon with the UC Irvine Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. He said that greater awareness is needed, as well as a commitment to fund additional research and treatments.

A 10th grader at Los Altos High School, Ojeda had suffered seizures since he was seven years old. Prior to surgery he had taken as many as 10 medications in an effort to control his seizures.

In addition to the trip to raise awareness, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is teaming up with UC Irvine Health to hold a forum to help connect individuals and families affected by epilepsy with experts and information. The event will be 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 29 at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Riverside.

Registration information is available at http://endepilepsy.org/event/epilepsy-workshop-social-riverside/.

See the CBS2 interview › 

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