WHEREAS, Epilepsy Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to raise awareness and change the conversation around epilepsies, seizures, and side effects, as well as to improve and save lives through care, advocacy, research, new therapies, public health, and education; and

WHEREAS, epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent and unprovoked seizures that can affect anyone, at any age and at any time; and

WHEREAS, epilepsy is a spectrum disease comprised of many diagnoses and experiences, and includes a wide range of seizure types, comorbidities, control, severity, and outcomes varying from person-to-person; and

WHEREAS, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder; there are approximately 3.4 million people in the United States, and 110,100 North Carolinians that live with active epilepsy; and

WHEREAS, an increasing number of people are diagnosed with rare epilepsies which are largely complex, severe, chronic, and even life-threatening; collectively, rare epilepsies account for a growing percentage of the epilepsy population; and

WHEREAS, people with epilepsy need access to affordable, comprehensive, physician-directed, and person-centered health care; delays in accessing effective treatments increase the likelihood of breakthrough seizures and related complications including injury, disability, or even Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP); and

WHEREAS, many treatments are approved to treat seizures; 30 – 40 percent of people with epilepsy still live with uncontrolled seizures and the epilepsy-related medical costs associated with uncontrolled epilepsy are two to 10 times higher than those of controlled epilepsy; and

WHEREAS, direct health care spending attributed to epilepsy or seizures annually is $24.5 billion while the average annual spending for individuals with epilepsy or seizures is more than $15,000; and

WHEREAS, protections exist in the Americans with Disabilities Act and in related civil rights laws, but people with epilepsy still encounter discrimination in areas including employment, education, and housing; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina recognizes Epilepsy Awareness Month and encourages residents to spread understanding, education, and compassion in order to improve the lives of people living with epilepsy and their families in our communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROY COOPER, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim November, 2022, as “EPILEPSY AWARENESS MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

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