Local Family Shining Light on Epilepsy Awareness

The White House could go purple if a message from southern Colorado reaches the right ears. It’s one that millions of Americans share: a push to cure epilepsy, starting by bringing attention to the brain disorder.

There is a purple ribbon tied around a tree in front of the Jackson family home in Colorado Springs. It's for a little guy named Zaki.

"At Zaki's worst, he would have hundreds of seizures every day," said his mother, Heather.

Zaki’s epilepsy first appeared when he was four months old, making a life less than ordinary for his family.

"You can't do anything but care for that, so obviously it's turned our life pretty much upside down."

One of his care-givers is a service dog named Rajah. Zaki also takes large doses of medicine to treat his symptoms, one of which doesn't allow him to sweat, according to Heather. She believes the most difficult part is that Zaki and others with the same deadly condition often suffer silently.

“There's this stigma with having epilepsy so people don't talk about it,” she said. “People aren't aware that November is epilepsy awareness month."

Heather's made it one of her missions to get the conversation started. At home she starts by wearing purple, the symbolic color of epilepsy awareness. On a larger scale, she's lobbying the White House to go purple the same way it went pink for breast cancer awareness.

"March 26th [2011] is the goal," said Heather.

So far, nearly four thousand Facebook followers support her cause which she hopes will catch the attention of Capitol Hill.

“There's not really anyone to champion the cause, so hopefully, someone will step up."

In the meantime, Zaki continues his own fight. His seizures, which still worry Heather, have slowed down which she considers a small step toward a brighter future for Zaki and millions of others like him.

“If you care today, there could be a cure tomorrow,” she said.

Follow their efforts on Facebook by clicking the link below.


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