Things have improved dramatically for local epilepsy sufferer Liam Schilberg in the year since he and his family organized the first local awareness walk, but they still will continue to promote the issue.
“He’s doing so great, it’s really exciting,” said his mother Colette explaining recent medical success that has virtually eliminated the seizures.
They went to a specialist in Calgary three times where they did seemingly endless tests and worked with his medication and a no sugar diet to get miraculous results that appear to have eliminated the partial seizures he was getting many times a day and through the night for eight years.
Epilepsy affects about one in 100 Canadians, and though the family doesn’t know how many have it in Oceanside they have started to connect with other people suffering through things like the walk.
People can develop epilepsy at any age but it is most common in children and seniors, points out the B.C. Epilepsy Society. Their website (www.bcepilepsy.com) has good information and tips including what you should do when someone has a seizure.
The key is to stay calm, protect them from injury by helping cushion them and removing nearby hazards, but do not restrain them.
The society stresses “never put anything in a person’s mouth during a seizure. Doing so may break teeth or block the airway. A person cannot swallow their tongue during a seizure.”
Call an ambulance if a seizure lasts for more than five minutes, if the person has no known history of seizures or has other medical complications.
Schilberg, who is 14 and in Grade 8 through the Collaborative Education Alternative Program, has frontal lobe epilepsy and was getting partial seizures meaning he was alert and conscience throughout.
Despite his success the family decided to repeat the walk to continue raising awareness since there are no other events in the area and March is Epilepsy Awareness Month.
The walk will be an easy stroll through Community Park in Qualicum Beach on Sunday, April 1 at 11 a.m. and people are encouraged to wear purple, the international colour for epilepsy.
There will be an information table at the entrance by the Civic Centre and they will accept donations for the society, but it is not a fundraiser they point out.
The Schilberg family invites people out for a fun walk to learn more, including reading facts posted throughout the forest.
For more information call Colette at 250-752-9674.