10-Year-Old with Brain "Pacemaker" to Control his Seizures Launches Non-Profit to Raise Awareness About his Disease, Epilepsy

Child Neurology Consultants of Austin's 10 year old client, Chase, was frustrated that his school's disease awareness programs ignored epilepsy, a condition he has lived with all of his life. So, with the help of his father, he launched Chase for the Cure, a non-profit bringing epilepsy awareness to local schools and raising money to let epilepsy kids experience the joy of camp at Camp Brainstorm. Kids with epilepsy often aren't allowed to take part in swimming, canoeing, horse back riding, water skiing and related summer camp activities because of the seizure risk. Chase has organized a Hoop-a-thon fundraiser on October 22.

Diagnosed with epilepsy at 3 years old, Chase once experienced 20-25 seizures a day. When his anti-seizure medicines stopped being effective, his pediatric neurologist, Dr. Karen Keough, recommended VNS, essentially a pacemaker for the brain. The device is surgically implanted in the chest. Electrodes from the device run up through his neck and send regular shocks to the brain to prevent seizures. While Chase will have future procedures to replace the batteries of this device, his seizures are now nearly gone. Now he wants to use his experience to talk to others about his disease.

Epilepsy is not an uncommon condition. There are about 130,000 adults and children in Central and South Texas who suffer from the disease. Read more about the story here.