SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

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Action Heroes Harness Powers to Educate Children About Epilepsy

The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance Launches A New Epilepsy Comic Book As Part of BuskerFest Festival Activities

TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance (CEA) is thrilled to announce the launch of a new comic series designed to educate children about the most common neurological disorder in Canada, epilepsy.  The Medikidz Explain Epilepsy comic series tells a fictional story based on the experiences of 14-year-old Jack, who is navigating middle school while living with epilepsy.

"Despite the fact that epilepsy affects 1 in 100 Canadians, there is still so much misinformation and lack of awareness out there," says Gail Dempsey, President of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance.  "Addressing the information gaps about epilepsy is key and by educating children in a fun way that resonates, like with the comic series, we can close that gap."

Authored by doctors and medical writers, the book's content addresses the mechanics, diagnosis, and treatment of epilepsy and is peer-reviewed by leading medical professionals and endorsed by the Canadian epilepsy community. 

The Medikidz are five energetic, larger-than-life superheroes on a mission to help young people better understand epilepsy.  Chi, Pump, Skinderella, Axon and Gastro take children on a journey through Mediland - an outerspace planet shaped just like the human body to explain the diagnosis, investigation and treatment of this neurological condition.

"Children absorb information so quickly and the new epilepsy comic book provides great background on the disorder in a colourful and easy to understand format," says Dr. Cecil Hahn, Paediatric Neurologist at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. "This is a great tool to educate not only those children living with the condition and their peers, but their parents too."

Marianne Cizmar-Shapiro explains how challenging it was for her son Adam, when we was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12, "this is difficult stuff for even parents to grasp and the comic has a way of engaging children with easy to understand text and colourful illustrations.  In our situation, Adam went from a relatively average childhood to suddenly being coddled and protected, the comic book would have been a great tool to help explain what was happening – this will be an important tool for children just like Adam who are learning about epilepsy."

About MediKidz

Medikidz was founded by Dr. Kim Chilman-Blair and Dr Kate Hersov whom, after working in paediatrics, became frustrated by the lack of engaging education for their young patients.  During their time as doctors, they were unable to provide children with resources to help educate them about their new diagnoses or medicines - in their language, at their level.

Eisai Limited is the official partner for the MediKidz Explain Epilepsy comic series. 

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can produce brief disturbances in the normal electrical functions of the brain.  Characterized by sudden, brief seizures of varying intensity, more than 300,000 Canadians are impacted by the condition.[i]  With 15 000 new cases diagnosed every year, the numbers are higher than the number of colon cancers diagnosed every year and almost as high as the numbers of breast cancer or prostate cancer diagnoses each year[ii]

About the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance

The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance (CEA) is a Canada-wide network of grassroots organizations dedicated to the promotion of independence and quality of life for people with epilepsy and their families, through support services, information, advocacy, and public awareness. For more information, please visit www.epilepsymatters.com.

REFERENCES
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i José F. Tellez-Zenteno, Margarita Pondal-Sordo, Suzan Matijevic, Samuel Wiebe (2004), National and Regional Prevalence of Self-reported Epilepsy in Canada, Epilepsia 45 (12), 1623–1629.

ii According to report of breast and prostate cancer annual diagnoses in 2004, from Cancer, new cases, by selected primary site of cancer, by sex , Statistics Canada

SOURCE Canadian Epilepsy Alliance

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