SOURCE: Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation

April 09, 2015 10:38 ET

Former US Representative Tony Coelho to Receive Epilepsy Foundation's 2015 Hero of Epilepsy Award

Coelho, as Primary Author of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Changed Civil Rights Landscape for People With Epilepsy and Other Disabilities

LANDOVER, MD--(Marketwired - April 09, 2015) - The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with nearly 50 community offices throughout the United States, is honoring former U.S. Representative Tony Coelho with the 2015 Hero of Epilepsy Award on April 10, the day before the Foundation's 9th Annual National Walk for Epilepsy.

The award recognizes Coelho's long-term support of and contributions to the epilepsy community. As a congressman, he was the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this July.

The Hero of Epilepsy Award celebrates individuals and organizations that have made a deep impact on the epilepsy community. Recipients of the Hero Award exemplify the Epilepsy Foundation's mission to stop seizures and SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy), find a cure, and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy, and research to accelerate ideas into new therapies.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act was groundbreaking in that it guaranteed equal opportunity for everyone, including people affected by epilepsy," said Philip M. Gattone, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "As the primary author of the ADA, Tony was the clear choice for this year's Hero of Epilepsy Award as we celebrate the act's 25th anniversary. We are exceedingly grateful for Tony's longtime support of the Foundation and his efforts to raise much-needed awareness for the epilepsy community."

Coelho, who began having seizures as a teenager, served six terms (including two as majority whip) as a member of the U.S. House representing California's 15th District. He is a member of the Epilepsy Foundation's Board of Directors and received the Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2007 for his lifetime of achievement.

To learn more about the National Walk for Epilepsy, the preeminent epilepsy awareness and fundraising event in the country, visit http://walkforepilepsy.org/.

About Epilepsy
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy affects nearly 3 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy.

About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with nearly 50 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy, and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsy.com.

"Like" the Epilepsy Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/epilepsyfoundationofamerica and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/EpilepsyFdn.

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