Imagine living with the threat of having a seizure every day. A seizure that can happen at any time and in any place, whether you are driving your car on the M1, playing with your children, or presenting at an event. If you are a person living with epilepsy, of course, you don’t have to imagine. This is your reality.
Epilepsy interrupts lives. Approximately 600,000 people in the UK are living with the disruptive, interruptive impact of epilepsy. For many the stark reality of life with epilepsy results in an ongoing erosion of independence. Losing the ability to drive, be alone or even care for family members are just some of the devastating consequences faced.
Seizures cause interruptions that impact virtually every life choice – education, careers and even the decision to ‘risk’ pregnancy to start a family. Tragically for some, lives are interrupted for ever with 21 epilepsy-related deaths every week in the UK.
Epilepsy Research UK’s launch of its #ALifeInterrupted campaign seeks to highlight the disruptive, interruptive impact of epilepsy and calls on people affected to help drive, enable and shape the future of research.
We know, through research, we can halt the devastation epilepsy causes. But, currently, there’s an alarming lack of funding for a condition that affects more people than Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease combined. Action is urgently needed to address this, which is why Epilepsy Research UK is publishing this report and launching a major campaign, to raise awareness of this most relentless and interruptive condition.
Epilepsy costs the NHS £1.5 billion a year. At a time when the need to make savings is paramount, there is a compelling case to make to invest more in epilepsy research. The return on investment can lead to substantial cost savings to the NHS and will make an enormous difference to those affected.
As the second-largest voluntary sector funder of epilepsy research in the UK (behind Wellcome Trust) we are determined to change the landscape of epilepsy research. We are calling on people with epilepsy to take action now to work with us to shape research that will have the greatest impact for people living with the condition, their families and carers.
ERUK Chief Executive