Volunteers Boost July 4th Fun Run

Dr. Alan Stein
Dr. Alan Stein
Keoni Devereaux
Keoni Devereaux

KAILUA (KHNL) - More than 300 runners, walkers, and event volunteers started-off their 4th of July by helping raise money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii.

It's all part of the foundation's 6th annual "Freedom Run-Walk."

While most of you folks at home slept-in, these early birds hit the course just outside Kailua High School.

It's called a "Freedom Run," and not just to celebrate our nation's independence.

The race also signifies the on-going effort to free our community from the stigma associated with epilepsy.

''It's something people don't like to talk about," says epilepsy specialist, Dr. Alan Stein. "There's a lot of stigma that goes with epilepsy. There's a lot of myths and bad preconceptions about it. So, we'd like to get the word out."

Epilepsy, or seizure disorder, is caused by too much electrical activity in the brain.

It can be controlled with medications, or with surgery.

Epilepsy affects about 15,000 people, here in the islands.

''This wonderful event will give us a little bit more incentive to keep moving. It kind of boosts our spirit," explains Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii executive director, Keoni Devereaux. "The more people who attend this type of event, it is evidence that we are really making a difference."

Volunteers handed-out refreshments and encouragement.

Top finishers earned cool medals.

The "Freedom Run" is projected to raise about $3,000.

''The main message is there's hope for people who have epilepsy and also for their families," says Devereaux.

And the power to do something about it.